CPL

Amazon Warriors defeat Royals for fourth straight win and second place in CPL standings

By Sports Desk September 25, 2022
Amazon Warriors defeat Royals for fourth straight win and second place in CPL standings Getty/CPLT20

Guyana Amazon Warriors completed the perfect set of home victories in the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) with a comprehensive defeat of the table-topping Barbados Royals on Sunday night.

 The victory means the two teams will do it all again on Tuesday in the first qualifier. 

 The Amazon Warriors won the toss and opted to field first, and that proved to be an inspired decision. On a fresh surface, their seamers wreaked havoc taking three wickets inside the PowerPlay to leave the Royals in disarray.

Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals and the 125 the Royals mustered was never likely to be enough on a track that offered good value for positive stroke play. 

The Royals were able to take two early wickets of their own when they had their turn to bowl restricting the Amazon Warriors to 18-2 but that was as good as it got. 

 Shakib Al-Hasan produced a scintillating half-century to put the Amazon Warriors on the cusp of victory and the remaining batters saw the chase home to win the game inside 15 overs.

 Earlier Guyana Amazon Warriors had utilised the movement on offer to unleash their cadre of seamers on the Royals. Romario Shepherd, Keemo Paul and Odean Smith all weighed in with wickets to leave the Royals 97-9 and it was only late cameos from Ramon Simmonds and Mujeeb Ur Rahman that enabled the Royals to post 125.

 Although the Amazon Warriors lost Chandrapaul Hemraj and Shai Hope in the PowerPlay, Shakib played an enterprising innings to take the drama out of the chase. His knock of 53 came off 30 balls and laid the foundation for the Amazon Warriors to win with five over to spare.

 The two sides will now do battle again in the first qualifier on Tuesday to determine who will earn the right to go straight to the Hero CPL final.

Scores: Guyana Amazon Warriors 126-5 (Shakib 53, Gurbaz 22; McCoy 2-22, Mayers 1-20) beat Barbados Royals 125 (Holder 42, Khan 20; Shepherd 3-14, Paul 2-9) by 5 wickets.

 

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    Root came into the fourth Test having not reached 30 in the series while a couple of uncharacteristic dismissals recently led to scrutiny on whether he should tailor his methods to fit the ‘Bazball’ philosophy.

    The argument has been Root does not need to alter his approach and he put his lean patch behind him with a more traditional Test innings to amass 106 not out as England went to stumps on 302 for seven.

    The 33-year-old rescued England after they had slipped to 112 for five in a helter-skelter opening session on a cracked Ranchi pitch and Crawley believes the Yorkshireman is the only batter who could have dug the tourists out of the fire.

    “He’s probably the only bloke in our team who could have done that knock, he’s that good and he’s stepped up when we needed him to,” Crawley said.

    “He’s a phenomenal player. We fully expected him to get a good score at some point in this series. He was due, he’s the best player we’ve ever had and he played phenomenally.

    “We’re so happy for him and we never doubted him. If anything we know that when he’s got a couple of low scores he’s even more likely to get the big one, and we expected that from him.

    “He deserves everything he gets, he works so hard at his game and he always comes good.”

    Root’s 31st Test hundred – brought up off 219 balls, the slowest century by any England batter under the leadership of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum – was marked in understated fashion as he kissed the badge on his helmet and raised his bat to team-mates who were celebrating enthusiastically on the dressing-room balcony.

    There was no sign of the reverse ramp he had gotten out to in Rajkot, which proved a sliding doors moment in England’s heavy defeat as they went 2-1 down in the five-match series, while conventional and reverse sweeps were rare occurrences.

    Root was unbreachable in defence, judicious off front and back foot and unfurled his customary late cuts and leg glances behind square, while there was also the odd cover drive.

    Crawley, though, insisted a surface offering early movement and uneven bounce throughout dictated Root’s more classical innings, rather than widespread criticism he has faced in the last few days.

    “If the pitch had been truer, I reckon he would have still played those shots,” Crawley said.

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    England went at 4.63 an over in the morning thanks to counter-attacking knocks from Crawley, who made a run-a-ball 42, and Jonny Bairstow’s 38 off 35 deliveries.

    But the tricky surface, rather than a brain fade, was largely responsible for England’s precarious position at lunch, with Crawley bowled twice by Akash Deep, the first off a no-ball, as the India debutant bagged a three-wicket haul.

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    “I got out still fairly early but it looked like it wasn’t bouncing anywhere near as much or as quickly as earlier on against seam,” Crawley added.

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  • Joe Root rallies England with patient century in fourth Test against India Joe Root rallies England with patient century in fourth Test against India

    Joe Root defied an unpredictable pitch to make a timely return to form as a risk-free unbeaten century stabilised England on a seesaw opening day of the fourth Test against India in Ranchi.

    On a cracked surface offering significant early assistance for India’s bowlers, Ben Stokes’ dismissal to a Ravindra Jadeja grubber left England on 112 for five at lunch after debutant Akash Deep’s three-wicket haul.

    But Root, averaging 12.83 after the first three matches, ended his lean patch with a battling 106 not out, which included a 113-run stand with Ben Foakes, as England went to stumps on 302 for seven.

    What was striking about Root’s 31st Test hundred, brought up off 219 balls, was its orthodoxy following criticism for some unconventional dismissals recently – especially his reverse ramp in Rajkot last week, which was a sliding doors moment in England slipping 2-1 down in the five-match series.

    Whether he is suited to England’s ‘Bazball’ approach has been the subject of much debate in the last few days but Root showed the virtue of patience here.

    There were some sweetly-timed drives through the covers as well as his characteristic late cuts and shots square of the wicket as the Yorkshireman registered the slowest ton of the Stokes and Brendon McCullum era.

    Root has given England a fighting chance after Deep ensured the rested Jasprit Bumrah was not missed at first, exploiting the variable bounce that was a theme throughout the day and some early movement.

    Stokes had no hesitation in batting, as is customary upon winning the toss in India, despite wariness over a track he described as “interesting”. What followed was a helter-skelter opening session as England went at 4.63 an over and lost five wickets, while two of India’s five reviews were successful.

    England’s openers were routinely beaten on the outside edge and Zak Crawley had his off stump uprooted on four but it was found Deep had over-stepped. Deep did not have long to wait for a maiden Test wicket, though, as a searching delivery nipped away and grazed Ben Duckett’s outside edge on 11.

    Ollie Pope lasted two deliveries as India overturned a not out leg-before verdict and an eventful over saw Root survive the hosts’ review for lbw first ball after getting fractionally outside the line of off stump.

    Crawley then Jonny Bairstow counter-attacked, with both finding success against the expensive Mohammed Siraj.

    But Crawley departed for a run-a-ball 42 when Deep’s in-ducker snaked through the gate and kissed the off bail, while Bairstow was lbw on review for 38 after missing a slog sweep off Ravichandran Ashwin, who claimed his 100th Test wicket against England.

    The tourists’ cause worsened on the stroke of lunch when Stokes was lbw to an ankle-high shooter from Jadeja, the England captain throwing his head back and laughing ruefully as he began to trudge off before the umpire had raised his finger.

    A frenetic morning gave way to a sedate afternoon as Root and Foakes settled for steady accumulation. The pitch did not have as many demons upon the resumption and while the odd one kept low, the English pair were alert to the danger.

    There were just seven boundaries between lunch and tea after 13 fours and two sixes in the opening session but India’s often poor ground fielding allowed Root and Foakes to regularly rotate the strike.

    Root went seamlessly to his first fifty in seven innings, after which Foakes, whose first boundary came with a drive off Kuldeep Yadav from his 66th ball, pushed the accelerator by taking 18 off an Ashwin over, including a big blow over the leg-side for six.

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