The St Kitts & Nevis Patriots made it two from two against the Guyana Amazon Warriors as they came out on top in the fifth match of the 2017 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL). A remarkable game came to life in a dramatic final over from Carlos Brathwaite, where he conceded only four runs and took three Warriors wickets, giving the Patriots their second victory of the tournament, and turning the match on its head.
After the losing the toss and being inserted by Warriors captain Rayad Emrit, the Patriots batted steadily, rather than spectacularly, to reach 132-3. However, smart bowling from Mohammad Nabi and Hasan Ali proved that any total was defendable at Lauderhill, and the Patriots came through for an unlikely win.
At halfway, observers may have thought they were 10 or 15 runs short of a winning total, after a subdued Chris Gayle was unable to reach his typical strike rates, but his 66 guided the Patriots to a competitive total of 132-3.
The Warriors started well with the ball, off-spinner Steven Jacobs almost having Gayle caught and bowled. The highlight of a quiet Powerplay which saw just 22 runs was when Chadwick Walton pulled off a wonderful stumping off the bowling off Jacobs, dismissing the dangerous Evin Lewis for just 4.
Hafeez was run out attempting a second run when Keemo Paul threw from the deep and Walton leapt high to divert the ball onto the stumps. Hafeez had looked in good touch but the wicket brought Brandon King to the crease, and the 97-run partnership between him Gayle and formed the backbone of the Patriots innings, and was ultimately match-winning.
Keemo Paul changed his pace very well and bowled tidily, while Steven Jacobs bowled his full notifications before the half way stage, keeping the pressure on Gayle and King. However, they progressed nicely, though a missed opportunity for a run out in the fourteenth over would have seen Gayle gone before the death, one of the only mistakes made by Walton on an otherwise great day for the keeper. Tanvir, who bowled tidily at the top of the innings, went the distance at the death as Gayle freed his arms, taking one over for 13 runs.
In reply, Walton was unable to carry his form with the gloves through to his batting, hitting a short delivery from Sheldon Cottrell straight to Evin Lewis at deep-square leg. When Samuel Badree had opener Steven Taylor stumped off a quicker ball in the fourth over, leaving the Warriors 12-2, there was pressure on the batters. The pressure was released after Mohammad Hafeez dropped both Babar Azam and Jason Mohammed in the following two overs.
Mohammad Nabi was the star with the ball for the Patriots, keeping a lid on the fluent Mohammed. He beat the bat on a number of occasions during his 4-0-18-1 overs, eventually luring Azam (21) into skying a delivery which Brathwaite caught for his one wicket.
Gajanand Singh, in for a rested Martin Guptil, played solidly for his 28, before eventually falling in that dramatic final over.
The turning point for the game was in the seventeenth over hit Hasan Ali into the deep, and an outstanding catch was claimed by substitute Fabian Allen. Shortly after, Shannon Cottrell had the dangerous Keemo Paul caught behind in the 18th over to give the Patriots a chance at the death.
A chase, which had until the final over been straightforward, collapsed under pressure as keeper Devon Thomas ran out both Emrit and Tanvir with direct hits from behind the stumps. Succumbing to the pressure, Gajanand Singh then turned the ball onto his own stumps, leaving five required from the final ball. Despite a wild swing, the new batsman Rashid Khan was unable to lay bat on it, and Brathwaite wheeled away in celebration.
His team will be delighted to have made it two from two and will look ahead to their next game against St Lucia on Saturday as a chance to keep momentum going. The Warriors on the other hand will go into their game against Trinidad on Friday wondering how they lost this match, looking to regain their form.
Summarized scores: St Kitts and Nevis Patriots 132-3 (Gayle 66, King 39; Jacobs 22 for 1) beat Guyana Amazon Warriors 128-8 (Mohammed 41, Singh 28; Cottrell 2 for 28) by 4 runs
Wednesday 9 August, Trinbago Knight Riders v Jamaica Tallawahs, Trinidad