Warriors defeat Zouks
PROVIDENCE – Guyana Amazon Warriors played imperiously to whip St Lucia Zouks by nine wickets yesterday, and send a stern warning to their rivals in the second edition of the Caribbean Premier League.
Opting to bowl first, they bundled out the visitors for a paltry 117 off 19.2 overs, with left-arm seamer Krishmar Santokie ripping through the innings to finish with four for 11 and off-spinner Sunil Narine taking two for 21.
In reply, New Zealander Martin Guptill stroked a measured unbeaten 50 off 47 balls and opening partner Lendl Simmons, 36 from 27 deliveries, as Amazon Warriors marched to their target off 16 overs at the National Stadium.
The victory was the third straight for last year’s losing finalists and it put them on top the standings on six points. The only other unbeaten team are defending champions Jamaica Tallawahs with four points from two games.
Zouks, meanwhile, slipped to their second straight loss following their seven-wicket defeat to Tallawahs a week ago.
Their batsmen were never up to the task and only tail-enders Sohail Tanvir with 32 off 25 balls and Mervin Matthew, 21 off ten deliveries, passed 20.
Zouks lost wickets quickly from the outset, plunging to 34 for four in the seventh over, and never recovered.
Santokie bowled Henry Davids in the second over for four with the score on six with one that swung in, and also knocked over Andre Fletcher in the fourth over for four at 16 for two, the right-hander driving a slower ball to Jimmy Neesham at cover.
Johnson Charles was bowled missing a drive at left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul for 13 and when Keddy Lesporis and Sunil Ambris found themselves stranded in the same crease following a terrible mix-up, the Zouks were floundering.
Roelof van der Merwe followed, chopping on to pacer Ronsford Beaton at 52 for five in the tenth over and Amazon Warriors claimed the important wicket of Darren Sammy when the Zouks captain ill-advisedly attacked Narine and holed out to long on for two in the following over.
Ambris disappointingly failed to make the most of his reprieve, falling for 13 from 18 balls.
Sohail then thumped three fours and a six in a robust innings to push Zouks close to the 100-run mark, before Matthew arrived to strike a four and two sixes to see the visitors up to their eventual score.
The target would always have been too modest to seriously challenge Amazon Warriors, and the hosts went about the chase with relish, with Guptill and Simmons punishing the Zouks bowlers.
Guptill struck two fours and three sixes while Simmons counted three fours and two sixes, in a 76-run opening stand off 55 balls.
Only three runs came from the first two overs but Guptill exploded in the third bowled by fast bowler Tino Best, to smash a four and a six, as the bowler conceded 14.
When Guptill cleared the ropes straight overhead with seamer Matthew in the fifth over, Simmons joined in with two consecutive fours on either side of the wicket, as they gathered 14 from the over.
Simmons perished in the tenth over, playing on attempting to steer medium pacer Sammy to third man but Mohammed Hafeez, who finished on 17 not out, joined Guptill to add 52 for the second wicket and see Amazon Warriors over the line. (CMC)