Wednesday 8th July – Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis: Another large crowd packed the Warner Park stadium on Wednesday to see The Guyana Amazon Warriors easily defeat the hometown boys the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the Hero Caribbean Premier League thanks to an undefeated half century from Brad Hodge. On a pitch that was taking turn from the spinners, it had seemed that the target of 159 that the Patriots had set would be very competitive – but Hodge made an absolute mockery of the total. Rain prevented the game reaching a conclusion but the result was not in doubt when the weather arrived.
This win lifts the Amazon Warriors off the foot of the table for the first time in this year’s tournament as they made it two wins in two against the Patriots.
There was some purchase on the pitch for the spinners and Veerasammy Permaul was the first man to claim a wicket. A lovely ball that drifted to the leg side and spun back to the off trapped Martin Guptill LBW for just 10. His open partner, Evin Lewis, was just starting to get going when he edged Ronsford Beaton through to the wicket keeper.
At the end of the batting Powerplay, the Patriots had made it to 36-2 and it was already very clear that spin bowling would be the deciding factor in this match with Permaul and Sunil Narine getting the ball to grip on the surface. While seam bowling proved to be expensive, it was a quick bowler that collected the third wicket when Marchant de Lange had Tonito Willet well caught at long off for 15 off 26 balls.
Marlon Samuels led from the front once again as the Patriots captain made his fourth half century of this year’s CPL. He played brilliantly for his 61 (40) and he was extremely unlucky to be dismissed in a freakish fashion. Samuels attempted a big slog only to inside edge the ball onto his foot and then into the hands of the wicket keeper.
While de Lange picked up another wicket, this time Devon Smith for 19 (17), his spell and that of all of the Amazon Warriors seamers went for 95 runs in eight overs compared with 58 off 12 for the spinners. Late order cameos from Shahid Afridi and Carlos Brathwaite took the score to 158-6 off their 20 overs, which looked a decent effort.
When the Amazon Warriors chase got underway, it was with a makeshift opening partnership – Tillakaratne Dilshan has returned to international duty and Lendl Simmons picked up an injury meaning Trevon Griffith and Assad Fudadin got the chase underway.
Sheldon Cottrell was causing problems with the new ball yet again and he had Griffith caught at the wicket to leave the Amazon Warriors 11-1. That brought Denesh Ramdin to the crease and the Guyana captain quickly took up the fight. He struck 22 runs off one Cottrell over to break the back of the chase inside the Powerplay.
Ramdin fell for 31 off 15 balls when that man Cottrell struck again, and once again it was keeper Shane Dowrich with the catch.
The hope for the Patriots was that the spin of Afridi and Tabraiz Shamsi would combine to make the same impact as the slow bowlers had done during their innings – but it was not to be. Shamsi left the field with a hamstring injury which severely hampered the chances of the Patriots successfully defending this total.
Australian veteran, Brad Hodge, found all of the bowlers equally simple to make runs off. He was on 41* (23), ably supported by Fudadin, when the rain arrived to delay the game.
The players managed to get back out after a 30 minute break and Hodge picked up where he had left off. He raced to 61 off 36 balls as the Amazon Warriors were cruising to victory when the rain put in another appearance. There are times when the Duckworth-Lewis calculations can be controversial, but not here as Guyana were clearly the better side.