Saturday 19th July 2014 – Providence, Guyana: An excellent crowd bedecked in the yellow and green of the Guyana Amazon Warriors saw their team destroy the St. Lucia Zouks in the Limacol Caribbean Premier League match at the Providence Stadium. Having excelled with the ball, the Amazon Warriors opening batsmen set about dominating the visitors bowling to set up an easy victory. After the nail biting Super Over finish in Guyana’s last match, this game was a formality from a very early stage as their bowling proved far too good for their visitors from St. Lucia.
Even before Sunil Narine had been introduced into the attack, the Zouks were struggling at 33-4 off their Powerplay overs. Krishmar Santokie again showed why so many of his wickets come from bowled and leg before wicket dismissals as his nagging line and length and subtle variations brought him two wickets for just seven runs in his first two overs. It was not just Santokie causing problems, left arm spinner, Veerasammy Permaul, also picked up a wicket in the first six overs.
Things did not improve for the Zouks with the end of the fielding restrictions. In the seventh over, a colossal miscommunication between Sunil Ambris and Keddy Lesporis saw both batsmen standing at the strikers end as the bails were removed. After a lengthy deliberation, it was decided that Lesporis was the man to go run out. It was not the only mix up of the night for the St. Lucians. Ambris was nearly run out himself when he attempted an ill judged second run. Ronsford Beaton failed to collect the throw with the batsman stranded halfway down the pitch.
With wickets falling regularly, the last chance for the Zouks to set a challenging total was captain, Darren Sammy, who walked to the crease with his team on 52 for five in the tenth over. He decided that attack was the best way forward, but when he was caught in the deep for just two runs, St. Lucia’s chances in this game departed with him.
Sohail Tanvir, brought in as an overseas player for his bowling, was the St. Lucia hero with the bat. He top scored with 32 runs off 25 balls. The return of Santokie brought about Tanvir’s departure. Throughout the Zouks innings, the Amazon Warriors were a little sloppy in the field, with one very notable exception. Martin Guptill has become one of the best fielders in the world, and he showed it with the dismissal of Tanvir. He ran 40 yards to dive and catch the ball just inches off the ground.
Some lusty late order hitting from Mervin Mathew took the score over the hundred mark, but it was never enough. Mathew hit more sixes than the rest of the team combined, one of which smashed a dressing room window. Once again, that man Santokie brought the resistance to an end as Mathew went for one shot too many. The Guyana medium pacer finished with fantastic figures of four wickets for just 11 runs.
The Amazon Warriors innings began with the Zouks pace men into the attack and it quickly became clear that the extra pace Tino Best and Tanvir generated made shot making easier on this pitch. Anything that was slightly off line or length was dispatched to the boundary by the Guyana openers. When the slower bowlers entered the attack, both Martin Guptill and Lendl Simmons were feeling confident enough to attack them as well. By the end of the six over Powerplay, the home team were close to half way toward their victory target.
With the required rate down to less than a run a ball there was no need for Guyana to take any risks and they were able to take the singles that were on offer and put any wayward deliveries away to the boundary. By the time the Zouks captain Sammy had entered the attack and picked up the wicket of Simmons with his very first ball, it was a case of too little, too late.
Guptill finished unbeaten on 50 off 47 balls as the Amazon Warriors cantered to victory with four overs remaining. They have a fantastic bowling attack for this format, and, if their batsmen can also fire, this will not be the last comprehensive win they will put together in this year’s tournament.