Simmons' brilliance flattens St Lucia Zouks
St Kitts (CMC):
In-form opener Lendl Simmons narrowly missed out on three figures as Guyana Amazon Warriors completed the highest-ever run chase in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) to beat St Lucia Zouks by eight wickets yesterday.
Set an imposing 190 for victory at Warner Park, Amazon Warriors reached their target with an over left, with Simmons run out for 97 in the penultimate over of the game.
He counted five fours and eight sixes in an electrifying knock that consumed just 60 balls, and which erased any doubt about the result.
The Trinidadian put on an enterprising 154 for the first wicket with New Zealander Martin Guptill, who slammed 66 from 47 balls, as Amazon Warriors hardly put a foot wrong in pulling off their sixth win of the tournament to move to 12 points.
The result was a heart-breaking one for Zouks, who were hoping to at least finish their luckless preliminary campaign on a high.
With just two wins under their belt and long eliminated from play-off contention, Zouks were scenting a third win and second of the weekend when openers André Fletcher and Johnson Charles hammered half-centuries to get their side up to 189 for seven off 20 overs.
Fletcher smashed 78
Fletcher smashed 78 from 49 balls, including five fours and five sixes, and Charles, 62 from 46 deliveries, in adding an upbeat 139 for the first wicket after they were sent in.
Seamer Navin Stewart finished with three for 22, while left-arm pacer Krishmar Santokie picked up two for 39.
Charles started in high gear, lifting off-spinner Mohammed Hafeez to mid-wicket for one of his three fours and following up with a similar stroke for the first of his three sixes as the second over of the game cost 12 runs.
Fletcher followed suit, clobbering Santokie for a straight six in the next over before crunching another two boundaries in the Jamaican's next over.
They combined to take a six each off Simmons' third over of medium pace, which leaked 17 runs, carrying Zouks past the 100-run mark in the 12th over.
Both batsmen eventually succumbed to leg-side catches in Stewart's first over, the 16th of the innings, triggering a slump that saw six wickets fall for 46 runs.
Captain Darren Sammy then struck a cameo 22 from 13 balls with three powerful sixes - two coming in an eventful final over bowled by Santokie that also accounted for two wickets and cost 14 runs.