Hope blasts Amazon Warriors to record-breaking win
PROVIDENCE, Guyana (CMC):
A dashing, maiden Twenty20 hundred from Shai Hope enabled hosts Guyana Amazon Warriors to land a firm knockout punch to Barbados Royals with a record-breaking, 88-run win in the Caribbean Premier League on Sunday.
The West Indies One-day International captain smashed nine fours and eight sixes in 106 from 44 balls and powered the Amazon Warriors to their highest total ever in the tournament of 226 for seven, after they were put in to bat at the Guyana National Stadium.
“I was trying to continue what I always do,” Hope said during a television interview when accepting the Player of the Match award. “I was just trying to have some fun and express myself.
“I believe I can score runs in whatever format I play in. I am enjoying my batting, it was a good track, and I capitalised.”
A defiant 54 off 43 balls from former West Indies Under-19 wicketkeeper-batsman Rivaldo Clarke was the only bright spark for the visitors, and they limped out of the tournament after spinner Imran Tahir and Gudakesh Motie carved up the cream of their batting and they were restricted to 138 for six.
TOP OF THE TABLE
Warriors were assured of a place in the play-offs before the match and finished the preliminary stage of the tournament on top of the table with 17 points from their 10 matches. They will face five-time champions Trinbago Knight Riders on Wednesday in the major semi-final.
Royals ended the preliminaries in fifth with seven points from their 10 matches, and were set to leave on the next flight out of Georgetown after their slim qualifications hopes went up in smoke when Jamaica Tallawahs logged a 122-run win against St Lucia Kings earlier in the day at the same venue. They needed to bat first and win by a margin of 415 runs to reach the final four.
The home team still played with fervour, though their play-off spot was safe, before another capacity crowd and finished the Power Play on 71 for two.
Pakistani left-hander Saim Ayub was caught at mid-on for 16 in the fourth over off pacer Akeem Jordan, playing his first match in this year’s tournament, while Odean Smith was caught in the covers for 21 off left-arm pacer Obed McCoy in the final over of the Power Play.
Hope did not take long to get into stride after he replaced Ayub, smashing two fours and a six off Jason Holder in the fifth over before he skilfully navigated the middle passage of the innings with T20 debutant Kevlon Anderson in a dominant stand of 132 for the third wicket.
Warriors were 104 for two at the halfway stage, and Hope and Anderson got down to business after the refreshments break with a volley of breath-taking strokes to all parts of the ground.
Burly off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall bore the brunt of Hope’s savagery when he conceded 32 in his final over that included two fours and four sixes – three in a row – to take the Barbadian batsman from 69 to 101, and the second-fastest hundred in the tournament ever.
The tournament continues when Tallawahs meet Kings in a rematch in the minor semi-final at 7 p.m. today at the same venue.