The Guyana Amazon Warriors ended the campaign of CPL 2019 defending champions Barbados Tridents with a six-wicket win in Match 26 of the 2020 Hero Caribbean Premier League, played at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
Led by Imran Tahir and Romario Shepherd, who shared six wickets, the Warriors bowlers restricted the Tridents to 89-9 in 20 overs; while a level-headed Shimron Hetmyer scored an unbeaten 32 to lead the Warriors to their fourth win in a row.
As Warriors hit the refresh button to prepare for the semis on Tuesday September 8, Hetmyer showed his ability to play more cautious cricket, and was supported by Ross Taylor as Warriors ended victorious on 90-4 in 14.2 overs.
Carbon copy batting
After hours of rain, mitigated by some good drainage and efficient work by the groundsmen, the Warriors opted to field first when play began. Familiar new-ball bowlers Kevin Sinclair and Chris Green began proceedings for the Warriors, but it was Romario Shepherd who struck twice in consecutive balls.
Shepherd sent back one of the Tridents’ most dangerous batsmen, Johnson Charles, for 10, and the promoted Rashid Khan was sent packing for a golden duck. Tridents began to play a carbon copy innings with the bat, and were quickly reduced to 28-3 when Test batsman Shamarh Brooks played a soft stroke off Green and found a jumping Ross Taylor.
Justin Greaves looked clueless against the magician Imran Tahir, and was undone by a googly that bowled him all ends up for 10. At 28-4 after 6.1 overs, the Tridents leading batsman this season, Kyle Mayers, came to the crease but went quickly, as he struck Sinclair for a six down the ground but he failed to read Tahir. When the left-handed Mayers departed for seven, the score was 37-5 in the ninth over.
After the drinks break, the jaded Jason Holder gifted his wicket to the impressive Shepherd. Mitchell Santner and Nyeem Young added 30 runs together, but the Warriors kept the floodgates open and the wickets kept coming.
Sinclair celebrated with a double somersault when he removed Santner in his final over by destroying his stumps. At 69-7, Young played the shot of the Tridents’ innings when he struck Green inside out for a maximum over cover, which was only the second six of the Tridents’ innings. A West Indies U-19 player, Young showed confidence but lacked experience. He was cleaned up by star leggie Tahir at 78-8 in 17.4 overs.
The Tridents’ lower-order batsmen struggled to get the ball away, and eventually the 20 overs expired with the Tridents on 89-9.
The Warriors bowlers looked a formidable unit, with Tahir leading the way with 3-12 in four overs, and Shepherd claiming 3-22 in four overs, including one maiden. The Tridents’ performance was their third sub-100 score this season.
Hemraj in promising start, Hetmyer in takeover
Pursuing this small score of 90, Warriors lost Brandon King for a duck when he was bowled all ends up by a Santner arm-ball. Birthday boy Hemraj, however, took number one T20 bowler Rashid Khan to the cleaners, slamming him for 15 runs in the fourth over.
At commencement of his innings, Hetmyer dealt with the short ball defensively.
Hemraj, on the other hand, continued to ride his luck after he was dropped, and played an attacking innings. He was, however, removed with a Holder short-ball for a 22-ball 29 which included two sixes and three fours. Sherfane Rutherford, returning to the starting XI, was promoted to number four, but that experiment failed and his poor tournament continued. Rutherford lacked the back-and-across movement, and was taken at slip off a full Holder delivery.
At 40-3, Nicholas Pooran partnered Hetmyer, but the lone centurion this season skied one and departed for a duck at 49-4 in 7.4 overs.
Hetmyer and Taylor continued to keep the score ticking and capitalising on the wet conditions. The duo played risk-free cricket, and ensured the Warriors faced no further hiccups; thus the Warriors stormed to another win, and head to the semis with great confidence. They ended their league stage with six wins and four defeats.