Amazon Warriors eye play-offs with fourth straight win
GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC):
Guyana Amazon Warriors installed themselves as hot favourites to book the first play-off spot in the Caribbean Premier League when they brushed aside the luckless St Kitts and Nevis Patriots by four wickets yesterday.
The hosts restricted the Patriots to 108 for eight off their 20 overs at the National Stadium and then raced to their target off 16.2 overs to record their fourth straight win and remain unbeaten in the competition.
Captain Martin Guptill spearheaded the run chase with 43 off 22 balls while Australian Chris Lynn supported with 34 off 37 deliveries.
They put on a crucial 60 for the second wicket after the attacking Dwayne Smith fell cheaply for five in the second over with just seven runs on the board, tapping a return catch to South African left-arm spinner JJ Smuts.
Following Smith's demise, Guptill, adjudged Man of the Match, then produced a bold display of hitting to swing the pendulum back towards Amazon Warriors and erase any doubt about the result.
The right-hander struck three fours and four sixes while Lynn stroked two fours and a six, as Amazon Warriors accelerated to reach 50 in the sixth over.
Guptill was particularly severe on Smuts, taking 22 from his second over - the fourth of the innings - before taking his assault to another left-armer, Tabraiz Shamsi, smashing 12 from the South African's first over.
Shamsi got his revenge when Guptill top-edged to Samuel Badree at mid-wicket at 67 for two in the eighth over, but Lynn and Jason Mohammed (4) added a further 21 to put Amazon Warriors within sight of victory.
Leg-spinner Badree, however, struck twice in the 11th over with the score on 88 to create some nervousness in the Amazon Warriors' camp. First, he had Mohammed stumped by a leg-side delivery and two balls later, trapped Chris Barnwell lbw without scoring after the batsman missed a googly.
And even though Anthony Bramble was bowled by Shamsi for one in the next over with just three runs added, Amazon Warriors eased to their target to extend their winning streak.
Badree (2-18), Shamsi (2-27) and Smuts (2-40) all picked up two wickets each.
Earlier, opener Lendl Simmons top-scored with 50 from 60 deliveries, but Patriots never got going as they slumped to a fourth defeat in five outings.