Guyana Amazon Warriors continued to match Trinbago Knight Riders win for win at the top of the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) table after subjecting St Kitts & Nevis Patriots to a trial by spin at Warner Park.

The Warriors and Knight Riders have both now won four from four after this all-too-easy seven-wicket victory for the Guyanese side.

Imran Tahir (2/17) and Qais Ahmad (3/28) led a four-man spin attack for the Warriors that reduced the Patriots to 53/5 and, although Shamarh Brooks engineered a recovery of sorts with a well-made 34 from 25, the innings fell away after he departed, seam finally making an impression as Keemo Paul took the last two wickets in the space of three balls. A final total of 121 was never going to be enough and was immediately put firmly in perspective by a 24-ball 49 from Brandon King at the top of the Warriors chase.

He smashed three fours and a huge Hero Maximum over midwicket from Sheldon Cottrell’s second over to make it clear the Warriors were not about to linger over chasing down their target.

And when the Patriots tried some spin it didn’t work quite as well as it had for the visitors, with Fabian Allen’s first over taken for 16 – including two more big sixes for King.

He was run out one short of a half-century from the final ball of the Power Play, but it mattered little. By then the Warriors were already 64/1 and over halfway to their target.

Shimron Hetmyer toe-ended Mohammad Hafeez to long-off for just a single looking to keep the attack going, prompting Chandrapaul Hemraj and Warriors skipper Shoaib Malik to throttle back and make sure nothing went wrong.

Hemraj edged behind off Rayad Emrit for a watchful 22, leaving Nicholas Pooran (19*) to apply the finishing touches alongside Malik (24*) as the Warriors got home with 25 balls to spare.

The start of the game was delayed by a brief shower and when play did begin the Warriors had got through four overs and three different spinners before a seamer was seen.

The tactic paid off, with Devon Thomas bowled by Chris Green’s first ball and just 19 runs on the board after the first four overs from Hemraj, Green and Tahir.

And even when the quicker bowlers did come on, it was still the spinners making the difference. Evans had stroked four fours in reaching 26 and was looking dangerous when he was superbly run out by a direct hit from Tahir at short fine-leg.

With the seam bowling of Romario Shepherd and Paul proving relatively expensive, Malik turned to the fourth spinner in his ranks with instant reward as Qais Ahmad had Hafeez caught for 14 by Hetmyer at long-off in his first over. Tahir then trapped Jason Mohammed plumb lbw for just 4 to reduce the Patriots to 51/4 in the 9th over.

The Patriots took the bold decision to promote left-hander Dominic Drakes to number six in a bid to counter the leg-spin threat on the back of his record-breaking 34 not out – the highest ever T20 score by a number 11 – against Barbados Tridents last time out.

It didn’t work. He was dropped by Hetmyer on nought but caught by Ahmed two balls later to give Tahir a second wicket off an eventful over and sum up a night to forget for the Patriots.

The playoff double-header for the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League has been confirmed as taking place in Guyana for this season. This means that there will be seven Hero Caribbean Premier League matches taking place in Guyana, with five group matches and the crucial playoff games which will decide which teams head to the final.

This year will see all four teams who make the knockout stages of the tournament featuring in matches taking place on Sunday 6 October. The first match on that day will be the Eliminator which will see the 3rd place team play the 4th place finisher. The winner of this game will play the loser of Qualifier 1 in the semi-final on Thursday 10 October.

The second match of the day is Qualifier 1 which will see the first place team after the group stages take on the side who finished second in the table. The winner of this game will go straight to the final on Saturday 12 October 2019.

Pete Russell, the COO of Hero CPL, said: “We are blessed to get to bring games to Guyana where the fans are out of this world. The playoff matches were a huge success last year, and with the games being a double header there will be even better value for supporters as they will get to see two games between the four best teams on one day. We know the support we will get from Guyanese fans, at both the group games and the playoffs, will be second to none.”

Director General, Hon. Joseph Harmon, MSM said: “We are very pleased to have the Caribbean Premier League returning to Guyana in 2019. The tournament has made a huge impact, showcasing our beautiful country to viewers around the world as well as creating jobs locally. We are delighted that the proud and passionate Guyanese cricket fans can look forward to this world-class spectacle this season. With seven matches, including the two crucial playoff games, Guyana will be at the heart of the tournament in 2019.”

  

PLAYOFFS

 

Sunday 6 Oct

Eliminator – 3rd v 4th, Providence, Guyana

Sunday 6 Oct

Qualifier 1 –1st v 2nd, Providence, Guyana

 The records were sent tumbling again as the Jamaica Tallawahs crashed to a fourth consecutive loss in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) following a 41-run defeat at the hands of the Trinbago Knight Riders.

With a new record total for the CPL set only a few days ago by St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, the Tallawahs were once against on the wrong end of a chastening evening a new high mark was set, with Knight Riders compiled 267 for 2.  

At the top of TKR’s batting order, Collin Munro and Lendl Simmons delivered a devasting stand for the visitors, which stunned Sabina Park into silence as they combined for 124 runs.  Munro eventual total of 96 from 50 balls, featured 8 towering sixes, which again left the dispirited Tallawahs with plenty to consider.  Simmons, in the meantime, slapped 86 from 42.  In four losses to date, the team’s struggling bowling attack has conceded somewhere in the region of 868 runs.  On Friday, with Sunil Narine being the only other casualty when he was dismissed for 20, the bowlers endured another torrid outing.  

In what was always going to be a steep pursuit, the Tallawahs got off to a good start with openers Chris Gayle and Glenn Phillips combining for 88 without loss.  When Gayle was bowled by Mohammed Hasnain for 39, however, the task became mission impossible.

Next, at the crease, Chadwick Walton never managed to get set as he was dismissed for 6 and things fell apart when Rovman Powell headed back to the pavilion with an injury after hitting a six off the second ball he faced.

 

When Andre Russell went down and out of Thursday night’s game between the Jamaica Tallawahs and the St. Lucia Zouks at Sabina Park, it proved to be a turning point in the game that ended with the visitors coming out victors.

Jamaica Tallawahs coach Donovan Miller says the Jamaica Tallawahs must turn things around quickly if they are to avoid losing their fourth straight match when they play the in-form Trinbago Knight Riders at Sabina Park tonight (September 13).

St Lucia Zouks secured an impressive first victory of their 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) campaign on a night marred by a nasty-looking injury for Jamaica Tallawahs’ star all-rounder Andre Russell.

If passed fit, Afghanistan leg spinner Zahir Khan could start for the Jamaica Tallawahs when they take on the St.Lucia Zouks at Sabina Park on Thursday night.

St Lucia Zouks captain Darren Sammy has revealed the team will be looking to its overseas imports for a much-needed boost, following a slow start to the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season.

The struggling Zouks lost back-to-back encounters against the Guyana Amazon Warriors and Trinbago Knight Riders to start the season.  The St Lucian-based franchise would have been hoping for fast start to the season after losing six games last season and finishing in 5th place.

In five seasons the highest place St Lucia has managed is fourth, making the playoffs on just one occasion.  Hoping to buck that trend in this current season Sammy is hoping newcomers

“We have more experience coming in with Colin de Grandhomme who is batting really well for New Zealand.  He can bring that experience.  We also have Hardus Viljoen who just had a good T20 blast in England,” Sammy said.

The former West Indies captain was, however, quick to admit that the team needed to improve its overall effort.

“At the end of the day, it takes a total team effort to win cricket games…So far it’s only been Cornwall giving us that start but we need different people in the line-up to come out and perform.”

 The Zouks will take on the Jamaica Tallawahs at Sabina Park on Thursday.

 

Having chased a Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) record of 242 on Tuesday night, St Kitts & Nevis Patriots were brought back down to earth by Barbados Tridents on Wednesday.

While Jamaica Tallawahs had been unable to defend 241/4 here 24 hours earlier, 186/2 proved enough for the Tridents to run out 18-run winners.

After the previous day’s heroics, the Patriots would have been confident of another victory but they were immediately placed on the back foot in their run-chase by Tridents skipper Jason Holder. He removed Devon Thomas with the first ball he bowled – a beauty that nipped away just enough to find the outside edge – and then had another of last night’s key performers Evin Lewis skying a catch to cover in the same over.

Laurie Evans made a classy 64 from 41 with boundaries all round the ground, but nobody else was able to stay with him and score at the required rate.

Jason Mohammed was strangled down the legside by Roshon Primus for 12 before the Tridents’ leg-spinners made a decisive move with four wickets in three overs before rain held up the victory charge. Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane bagged two wickets in his third over. First Shamarh Brooks was smartly caught by Ashley Nurse running back from cover for 13 before the key wicket of Evans, caught by Josh Lalor at short fine-leg from a top-edged sweep.

A pair of googlies brought two more crucial breakthroughs in the next two overs, Fabian Allen bowled by Hayden Walsh Jr and Carlos Brathwaite lbw to Lamichhane for just a single run between them to leave the Patriots deep in trouble at 107/7 needing 80 runs with just 31 balls left when a sudden downpour sent the players scurrying for cover.

The rain, which came down hard, held up the Tridents by 45 minutes. When play resumed, Walsh Jr promptly bowled Usama Mir, who got nowhere near an attempted slog and lost his off stump.

Rayad Emrit fell looking for his second six of the night but instead picking out Jason Holder at long-on off Lalor.

Dominic Drakes had some fun despite the hopelessness of the situation, hitting Holder for three huge sixes in the 18th over and in all slapping 34 not out off 13 balls in an unbroken 10th-wicket partnership of 49 with Alzarri Joseph to end the night as the Patriots second top-scorer and make the final margin of defeat far closer than it might have been. There may not have been as many records as the previous day’s game, but here was one: Drakes’ 34 not out is the highest ever T20 score by a number 11.

The Tridents were indebted to an explosive late injection from Duminy to get a competitive total on the board after being tied down themselves for much of their innings.

Alex Hales got things off to a lively start with four fours through the offside inside the first three overs of the innings, but after he was dismissed caught behind trying to run Emrit down to third-man, the scoring rate dropped dramatically.

On a ground where a record-breaking 37 sixes were struck the night before, the Tridents didn’t clear the ropes until Johnson Charles picked a length ball up off his pads over the legside off Brathwaite.

Charles had started slowly but began to find his range and struck back-to-back Hero Maximums off Usama Mir to reach his half-century in 41 balls. He fell two balls later, though, picking out Brooks – who also dropped a couple of simple catches – at deep midwicket looking for a third six of the innings.

Keeper-batsman Leniko Boucher made his first Hero CPL half-century in an innings of increasing authority. Having taken 22 balls over his first 22 runs he added 40 more from the next 25 he faced to finish unbeaten on 62 with four fours and three sixes to his name.

It was Duminy, though, who was most responsible for lifting the Tridents to what would prove a match-winning total, smashing an unbeaten 43 from just 18 and striking the ball noticeably cleaner than his team-mates. He sent four balls sailing way over the ropes with 73 runs coming from the final six overs when the South African veteran was at the crease.

Jamaica Tallawahs stand-in captain Ravmon Powell insisted the bowlers did not stick to the plan on the back of a deflating four-wickets loss to St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, in a record-setting CPL encounter on Tuesday.

The Tallawahs, on the back of Chris Gayle’s majestic 116 from 62 balls and 73 from 36 from Chadwick Walton, seemed poised for victory after putting 241 for 4 on the board.  The innings was the highest ever recorded in the CPL and one of the most in T20 history.

In response, however, a savage opening spell from openers Devon Thomas and Evin Lewis and solid contributions from Laurie Evans, Fabian Allen, and Shamar Brooks, saw the two-hour record total eclipsed in fairly comfortable fashion.  The Patriots got to 242 for 6 with 7 balls to spare.

The figures were as expected particularly brutal for the Tallawahs bowlers.  Oshane Thomas, the best of them, went for 53 after taking 4 wickets.  Russell who claimed the other two, was blasted for 54. 

Jerome Taylor went 0 for 36, Steven Jacobs 0 for 30, Christopher Lamont 0 for 32 and Shamar Springer 0 for 36.  All failed to make any significant inroads or even significantly slow the Patriots.  After scoring 85 for 0 in the Power Play, the Patriots were 133 for 1 at the halfway mark.

“I think the bowlers did not execute according to the game plan that we set out but credit has to be given to the Patriots, they did fantastic,” Lewis said following the match.

“We just didn’t go to our skillset early enough, we did not bowl enough yorkers, did not bowl enough slower balls, as you can see the pitch was gripping but it is just for us to learn,” he added.

 

St Kitts and Nevis Patriots captain Carlos Brathwaite insists the team never lost belief during a miraculous runs chase of historic proportions, against Jamaica Tallawahs, in the Caribbean Premier League on Tuesday.

Spearheaded by 116 from 62 balls from talisman Chris Gayle, his 22nd T20 century, the Jamaica Tallawahs posted what seemed to be an unassailable 241 for 4, which was the highest total in CPL history. 

The hosts, however, had other ideas and led by a blistering 50, in just 17 balls, from explosive opener Evin Lewis, reached to 242 for 6 with seven balls to spare and 4 wickers in hand.  Lewis' knock was the fastest half-century in CPL history.

“Actually, before we got off the field we got into a small huddle and we said this is the bullring, any total is chaseable,” Brathwaite said following the match.

Lewis and Devon Thomas got the Patriots off to a blistering start and the duo got to 85 for 0 inside the Power Play.  After he was surprised by extra bounce and caught behind by Glenn Phillips off Andre Russell, his opening partner took point.

Thomas got to 50 off 30 balls and new arrival Laurie Evans from England also made a strong contribution, his 41 coming from just 20.

“We just planned to get a good start, keep the run rate manageable and then close off the game.  Evin is in fantastic form, Fabian Allen as well, Devon Thomas, it's his second back to back 50.  We thought they got about 20 runs too much but it was a fantastic track, the wind wasn’t blowing and it was a small outfield.”

The runs chase, which was carried home by Allen’s 37 from 15, was the second-highest total chased in T20 history.

  

 

St Kitts & Nevis Patriots produced the most astonishing Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) victory as they chased down Jamaica Tallawahs’ 241/4 on a night when sixes flew and records tumbled at Warner Park.

 

The Tallawahs appeared home and hosed at the halfway stage after Chris Gayle had returned to torment the side he had led for the previous two seasons. The Universe Boss smashed 116 from 62 balls with 10 sixes to register his 22nd T20 century, sharing a Hero CPL record partnership of 162 with Chadwick Walton – who kept pace with Gayle in his own 36-ball innings of 73 – to propel the Tallawahs to the highest total in the history of the tournament.

 

It was a record that would stand for only two hours as the Patriots reached 242/6 with seven balls to spare. The sixes just kept flying, the records just kept tumbling. Evin Lewis hit six Hero Maximums and three fours as he blitzed his way to 50 in just 17 balls – another Hero CPL record – and took the Patriots to 85/0 inside the Power Play before he was surprised by extra bounce and caught behind by Glenn Phillips off Andre Russell.

 

But he had shown the way, and his team-mates followed his lead.

 

Devon Thomas made his way to 50 off 30 balls and new arrival Laurie Evans from England gave an immediate display of his class as spin and seam alike disappeared to all parts of Warner Park.

An extraordinary unbroken fifth-wicket partnership of 78 from just 29 balls between Nicholas Pooran and Sherfane Rutherford set Guyana Amazon Warriors on their way to a third straight Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) victory at the expense of Barbados Tridents.

This thumping 47-run victory means that last year’s runners-up have, like the team that beat them to the 2018 title Trinbago Knight Riders, gone three from three during the first home stint of their season.

For much of the Warriors innings, though, such a result looked far from certain. Chandrapaul Hemraj was the only one of the top four to get to grips with tricky batting conditions, dominating the early scoring to such an extent that when the Warriors had 31 for 1 on the board after the Power Play Hemraj had accounted for 27 of them.

 When he fell for a well-compiled 63 from 55 balls, blending watchful defense and accumulation with six fours and three Hero Maximums, the innings looked in danger of falling away at 102 for 4 one ball into the 16th over.

Brandon King had top-edged a pull shot to give Leniko Boucher an easy catch behind the wicket for just 1.  Saturday night’s hero Shimron Hetmyer had gone cheaply too, superbly caught goalkeeper style by sub-fielder Hayden Walsh Jr at point for 9 off the bowling of Roshon Primus, who also accounted for Warriors captain Shoaib Malik for 4 when an attempt to run the ball down to third-man succeeded only in steering the ball in to Boucher’s gloves.

 But almost from the moment Rutherford and Pooran got together after Hemraj’s departure the game changed. Rutherford was the first to cut loose, smashing the fifth ball he faced cleanout of Providence Stadium off Aussie paceman Josh Lalor. Back-to-back Hero Maximums followed for the 20-year-old off Holder in the next over before his best shot of the night off Primus. It was a low full-toss that Rutherford somehow managed to hit hard and flat over the fence at point with astonishing wristwork.

It was truly special stuff, taking Rutherford at that stage to 30 from 11 balls, but remarkably former Trident Pooran was about to upstage his partner. Having made 25 from the first 22 balls he faced, Pooran plundered a scarcely believable 36 from the last eight. Five of those deliveries disappeared into the stands, including two enormous hits over midwicket back-to-back off Primus. Raymon Reifer’s final over was marmalised, with three sixes in four balls over long-on, long-off and extra-cover. The middle of those three brought up Pooran’s 50, and what an innings it was.

In all, 72 runs came from the last four overs of the innings – 45 of them from the last two.

The momentum from the end of the Warriors’ batting effort carried into their bowling effort. Having impressed when opening the batting, Hemraj was also handed the new ball with instant results as the Tridents’ star signing Alex Hales was bowled first ball playing back when he ought to have been forward.

The ever-impressive Shadab Khan took care of Johnson Charles and Boucher before Malik brought himself into the attack and promptly enticed Jonathan Carter to drag on.

 Worse was to come for the Tridents in the next over as an attempted second run to Keemo Paul’s bullet arm in the deep saw skipper Jason Holder caught inches short of his ground for just 4.

JP Duminy scrapped his way to 20 before dragging an awkward-looking pull shot into his stumps to hand Paul a first wicket of the night and leave the Tridents in tatters at 75 for 6.

Ashley Nurse restored some respectability with some lusty blows of his own, launching his very first ball straight back over Chris Green’s head for a Hero Maximum and adding a further two sixes and three fours in his 40 from 25 balls, but it was little more than damage limitation.

 

 

Big-hitting Nicholas Pooran has admitted that at times he even surprises himself with his uncanny ability to clear the boundary rope, after another scintillating display in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) on Sunday.

Against the Barbados Tridents, Pooran treated the crowd at the Providence to some impressive hitting as his unbeaten 61 from 30 balls anchored the Amazon Warriors 47-runs win.  In total Pooran banged the ball into the stands on six occasions, while hitting four boundaries.  His 78 runs partnership with Sherfane Rutherford, who had 32 from 14, accelerated the Warriors’ innings at the end pushing the projected score from around 160 to a solid 180.  In response, the Tridents were bundled out for 133.

“Sometimes I even surprise myself with the way I hit the ball.  Somehow God gave me the strength and I’m thankful and happy for the talent I’m blessed with,” Pooran said.

“Tonight, was my night.  You have some nights when it won’t go your way, then you have nights like this,” he added.

Pooran had a slow start to the tournament after being dismissed for a duck against the St Lucia Zouks and not batting against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots.  The team has, however, won all three games to start the season.

“It was just my day Shoib was out so I just took the responsibility to bat until the end.”

 

Trinbago Knight Riders captain expressed delight with the contribution of multiple players as the team maintained a perfect start to the new CPL season with a 7-wickets win over St Lucia Zouks on Sunday.

The win added to victories over the Jamaica Tallawahs and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, marked a third in a row for TKR who bowled off the season at the Queens Park Oval.  Powered by 50s from Denesh Ramdin (50) and Lendl Simmons (63), TKR comfortably hunted down St Lucia’s first innings total of 167 for 5.  Simmons hits five boundaries and five sixes for his total, while Ramdin reached the boundary five times only once clearing the ropes.

Against the Tallawahs the team had outstanding contributions from Sunil Narine and Tion Webster.  Jimmy Neesham and Pollard himself were the ones to deliver for the home team in the opening match.  Pollard, who took over captain duties from Dwayne Bravo at the start of the tournament believes the varied contributions so far is a good sign for the defending champions.

“That’s what cricket is about, it’s a team sport.  We know in T20 cricket in each and every game the same person is going to do it.  We spoke about it in the dressing room and every game can be someone else.  Last game was Tion Webster the youngster and Lendl has been searching for runs,” Pollard said following the match.

The TKR captain also expressed satisfaction with the team’s position in the early standings.

“I think it was crucial for us…playing three games in six days and the intensity of T20 cricket and playing at 12.  I thought the heat the better of us at the start and we were flat but we spoke about it and just asked for one big push.”

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