Not having yet got the memo, the Guyana Amazon Warriors might have opted out of the 2017 CPL today at the Providence Stadium in Guyana. Put in to bat by Trinbago Knight Riders’ skipper Dwayne Bravo, they lost a mere five wickets in their 20 overs but only managed to get 130 runs on the board.
Not for the first time, the wickets in hand didn’t help them as, led by Brendon McCullum’s breezy 66 off 45 balls, the visitors got to their unchallenging target off just 15.5 overs.
However, Man-of-the match McCullum, completely at sea against leg-spinner Rashid Khan, could have been out three times in the Afghan leg-spinner’s first over. Dropped at the wicket off the first ball, he was twice reprieved by Guyanese umpire Nigel Duguid, who saw space between the stumps and the ball’s point of contact with the pad where no one else could see any.
McCullum survived; the Warriors paid.
Earlier, with DJ Bravo ringing in the changes, the home team had not been able to cut loose at any stage. They lost Chadwick Walton early after he had taken ten off Beaton’s opening over. When he tried to swing Khary Pierre over the boundary, he merely succeeded in finding the safe hands of Darren Bravo at midwicket.
The struggling Martin Guptill (4 from 10) didn’t really trouble the scorers, falling to spin for the fourth time in five innings. Assad Fudadin looked as though he might do some damage before he departed, adding a rapid 23 with Jason Mohammed. But after successive overs yielded 12 and 11 respectively, including three fours and a six, Nikita Miller induced a false shot and Ronsford Beaton snared the catch at midwicket.
After that, it was the Mohammed slow, oops, show. Coming to the wicket at 16 for 2 in the fourth over, he was dismissed off the last ball of the innings, having only got to 66 off 57 balls. He hit two sixes and six fours but in the end the Warriors needed a rather less modest strike rate than the 113.79 with which he eventually ended.
Pinch-hitting opener Sunil Narine was gone off the fourth ball he faced, perishing as he sought to attack left-arm orthodox spinner Veerasammy Permaul. Munro replaced him, survived a confident appeal for LBW off the first ball of Sohail’s over, clobbered his third over the boundary and lost his off-stump to the next. Had Walton accepted the chance off McCullum or had Duguid had 20/20 vision, TKR would have been on an unsteady 43 for 3 and perhaps vulnerable.
But Darren Bravo contributed 27 off 19, Ramdin, the hero against the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots at the Oval on Monday, added 20 off 19, including 4-2-6 off the last three balls, and he and McCullum saw the Knight Riders safely over the line to move them to 12 points at the top of the standings.
The Warriors will now need to win all of their remaining four games to have any chance of making the September 5-9 play-offs, scheduled for the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba.
TKR, however, now have a comfortable four-point cushion over second-placed Patriots, who take on the St Lucia Stars in today’s late game. The Patriots and TKR meet in their next fixture, the return game in St Kitts on Wednesday.
Guyana Amazon Warriors 130 for 5 (Jason Mohammed 66, Gajanand Singh 27, Sunil Narine 1/11)
Trinbago Knight Riders:131 for 3 (Brendon McCullum 65, Darren Bravo 27, Denesh Ramdin 19, Sohail Tanvir 1/20)