West Indies Test captain, Jason Holder, believes the time is ripe for him to make his mark in the shortest form of the game he has risen to the top of in its more traditional form.

Guyana Amazon Warriors captain, Shoaib Malik, believes that ending up runners up in the Hero Caribbean Premier League for a fifth time is not down to bad luck.

After a slow start to the their Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) campaign, the Barbados Tridents winning their second title would have been a long shot at any betting house.

But it wasn’t for their skipper Jason Holder, who says the team stuck together and that everybody understood their roles and went out and did it.

At different points throughout this season, The Tridents had special performances from Ashley Nurse, Raymon Reifer, Jonathan Carter, Johnson Charles, Harry Gurney, Holder and Hayden Walsh Jr.

According to thr skipper, he could not have asked more from the all-round effort his team produced to turn around a season that began with four losses in the first six games.

“The coaching staff has been outstanding, each and every player has really pulled their wait. I asked the guys to focus on their particular roles and to put everything together and I couldn’t ask for anything else,” said Holder.

“We all spend a lot of time together. This team is exceptional. That togetherness has gone a long way towards achieving these results,” said Holder.

Jonathan Carter is a man that believes in himself and his half century in the final of the Hero Caribbean Premier League final on Saturday suggested a player that is assured and stable.

But there had been questions about his place in the Barbados Tridents team that won their second CPL title on Saturday night, beating the Guyana Amazon Warriors by 27 runs.

Carter slammed four fours and went over the ropes a further four times to score his 51 from 27 balls, saying that assuredeness came from the support of his captain Jason Holder and his coach Phil Simmons.

“When you have a friend like Jason, a captain, who has confidence in you, it gives you the all-clear to go out there and do what you have to do,” said Carter.

“He believes in me, and also coach Simmons. He’s been very influential in the knocks I have been playing this year so I would just like to thank them for that. Thank you Jason, thank you Phil,” said Carter.

Carter was scoring his second half century of the competition, having failed to get over the milestone in every season prior.

Carter also scored 51 against the Trinbago Knight Riders in a game his team won, and also had handy scores of 30 and 49.

Carter also won the prize for the catch of the tournament, a diving one-handed effort that got rid of St Lucia Zouks captain Darren Sammy in match number 17 of the tournament.

The Guyana Amazon Warriors are playing the role of bridesmaid for a fifth time in the Hero Caribbean Premier League after the Barbados Tridents lifted the 2019 title thanks to an important half century from Jonathan Carter.

The Tridents would end up winning by 27 runs, Scoring 171-6 and restricing the Warriors to 144-9.

Carter, 51 from 27 deliveries, received support from Johnson Charles, 39, Alex Hales, 28, and 19 not out from Ashley Nurse.

In response, Brandon King, 43, Nicholas Pooran, 24, and Keemo Paul, 25, were the men to put up a resistance against 4-24 from Raymon Reifer, 2-24 from Harry Gurney, 2-17 from Nurse, and 1-23 from Hayden Walsh Jr.

Choosing to bat, the Tridents started well enough with Charles, 39 and Alex Hales, 28, getting them moving.

When Hales miscued a length slower ball from Romario Shepherd in the sixth over, it brought with it a debutant in Philip Salt. Salt was replacing the injured JP Duminy and like his name in Caribbean culture suggests, was unfortunate in being adjudged caught behind off his elbow without scoring from the bowling of Ben Laughlin.

That dismissal sparked a mini-collapse, thanks mostly to the brilliant fielding of Paul, who ran out Jason Holder (one), the skipper going for two, and Shakib Al Hasan, 15.

Before that Shai Hope (eight) went to a brilliant catch from Chandrapaul Hemraj, the opening batsman catching a firmly struck pull shot that looked for all the world four runs.

Then Ashley Nurse joined Carter at the crease and the two set about taking the Tridents from 108-6 with the last ball of the 15th over remaining, to 171 without further loss. Nurse would play the anchor role, scoring 19 from 15. Carter was more destructive, striking four fours and four sixes to score his 51 from just 27 deliveries.

The total was always going to be challenging, in fact, for the Warriors to avoid being bridesmaids again, they would have to score more runs than anybody in the history of CPL finals.

They failed.

Brandon King, the leading runscorer in the tournament threatened to make the run chase look run of the mill, but Nurse had more to say about the game, stumping him as he went for a lofted on drive.

Shoaib Malik has not scored well against the Tridents and the trend would continue for the Warriors captain, who found Reifer on the mid-wicket boundary after he had absolutely creamed a long hop from Walsh Jr for just four.

Reifer, who opened the bowling for the first time this season, first got rid of the injured Chandrapaul Hemraj, as he miscued a cover drive and was caught in somewhat unorthodox fashion by Shakib Al Hasan, and from there, things just got better for the all rounder.

Reifer was again in on the action as he was quick when bowling to the dangerous Shimron Hetmyer, choking him for room as he tried to launch a ball over long on.

That wicket was big, but it was no less important than when he dragged Romario Shepherd into playing at a wide delivery to be caught behind with the game, though leaning towards Barbados, still in the balance.

With 33 needed in the final over, there was still a glimmer of hope for a team that, up to that point, had not lost, but when Reifer bamboozled Chris Green with a slower ball first up, that was all she wrote.

The Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) have announced the team of the tournament. This has been selected by Tom Moody, Hero CPL’s Director – International Cricket, along with the commentary team – Mark Butcher, Danny Morrison, Dirk Nannes, Ian Bishop and Daren Ganga.

The team will be captained by Shoaib Malik (313 runs at 78.25) who successfully led the Guyana Amazon Warriors to a record 10 victories in the group stages to leave his team unbeaten in the tournament thus far. He is joined by fellow Amazon Warriors, Brandon King (453 runs at 56.62) and Imran Tahir (15 wickets at 11.53) who have both played an integral part in the Guyana franchise’s record breaking tournament.

The sole representative from the Jamaica Tallawahs is Glenn Phillips (374 runs at 37.40) who will also be the wicket keeper for the team. Phillips was the leading light for the Tallawahs who had a tricky season, but the Kiwi ‘keeper-batsman did brilliantly at the top of the order.

The Trinbago Knight Riders have two players in the team, Lendl Simmons and Kieron Pollard. Simmons (429 runs at 42.90) was a late replacement in the Knight Riders squad but has done a superb job at the top or the order as his team made the playoffs once again. Pollard (349 runs at 58.16 and 6 wickets at 29.66) stepped up to the captaincy after Dwayne Bravo pulled out of the tournament through injury and has led from the front with both bat and ball.

The Barbados Tridents have three players who make the team. Jason Holder (14 wickets at 23.07) and Harry Gurney (10 wickets at 16.3) both getting the nod. Holder and Gurney have been superb with the new ball for the Tridents as their team finished second in the points table. The other member of the Tridents who is selected is Hayden Walsh Jr (21 wickets a 12.19) who has claimed five wickets in one innings and four in another as the USA spinner had a breakout season.

The St Kitts & Nevis Patriots have representation from Fabian Allen (218 runs at 27.25) and Sheldon Cottrell (12 wickets at 19.25). Allen has scored his runs at a remarkable strike rate of 177.23 during the 2019 Hero CPL and has also been one of the fielders of the tournament. Cottrell has been saluting his way to success once again as he starred with the new ball and at the death for the Patriots.

The Head Coach of the year is Johan Botha who has taken Guyana Amazon Warriors into the CPL final with 11 straight wins. The 12th and 13th men are also from Amazon Warriors, with Chris Green (13 wickets at 20) and Chandrapaul Hemraj (298 runs at 27.09, 5 wickets at 17.2) making up the rest of the squad.

 

HERO CPL TEAM OF THE TOURNAMENT

 

  1. Lendl Simmons – Trinbago Knight Riders
  2. Brandon King – Guyana Amazon Warriors
  3. Glenn Phillips * (WK) – Jamaica Tallawahs
  4. Shoaib Malik * (C) – Guyana Amazon Warriors
  5. Fabian Allen – St Kitts & Nevis Patriots
  6. Kieron Pollard – Trinbago Knight Riders
  7. Jason Holder – Barbados Tridents
  8. Hayden Walsh Jr – Barbados Tridents
  9. Imran Tahir *– Guyana Amazon Warriors
  10. Harry Gurney * – Barbados Tridents
  11. Sheldon Cottrell – St Kitts & Nevis Patriots

 

12th man: Chris Green * – Guyana Amazon Warriors

13th man: Chandrapaul Hemraj – Guyana Amazon Warriors

Head Coach: Johan Botha – Guyana Amazon Warriors

 

* Overseas player

Guyana Amazon Warriors made it nine wins from nine in the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL), thrashing Jamaica Tallawahs by 77 runs despite slumping to 8/4 at the start of their innings.

 The table-topping Warriors lost four wickets in four balls across the first two overs of the night – at one point both Oshane Thomas and Derval Green were on hat-tricks at the same time – with both Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran falling first ball while Brandon King and Chandrapaul Hemraj made just 1 and 2 respectively.

Only two further wickets would fall in the rest of the innings though, as captain Shoaib Malik, first alongside Sherfane Rutherford and then Keemo Paul, engineered a superb recovery with an unbeaten 73 from 45 balls. With 156/6 on the board, it was over to the Warriors’ battery of spinners to work their magic, and they didn’t disappoint.

Chris Gayle became the third high-profile first-ball casualty when Chris Green breached his defences to give the Tallawahs’ run-chase its own dramatic early setback, and Imran Tahir was soon in on the act as well when Chadwick Walton picked out Green at long-on for just 8.

Glenn Phillips attempted a Malik-style recovery and did emulate the Warriors captain in going past 1000 career Hero CPL runs but there the comparison ended. He made 21 from 28 before also picking out Green at long-on to hand Hemraj a wicket.

By now the required rate had already got beyond 10 an over and, although Trevon Griffith did manage the unlikely feat of taking two boundaries from Chris Green’s final over – he still finished with 1/20 from his four – the Tallawahs were never able to get it back under control.

Qais Ahmad became the third bowler of the night to take two wickets in two balls when he had Dwayne Smith caught and bowled for 2 before bowling Imran Khan first ball. Unlike Thomas and Derval Green, though, he had no hat-trick opportunity as those wickets came from the final two balls of an impressive spell.

By now everything was going the Warriors’ way. Keemo Paul came into the attack and immediately had Liton Das caught at midwicket for 21 from his first ball and then Derval Green caught behind later in the over.

Imran Tahir had his third when Steven Jacobs was bowled aiming a huge legside heave at a googly, and fittingly it was Malik who had the last word, wrapping up a comprehensive victory with the final wicket as Zahir Khan holed out.

Another win for the Warriors should surprise nobody given the season they’re having, but it all looked a very long way away after eight balls of their innings. King was bowled by Thomas, before Hetmyer nibbled at a wide one to be caught behind from the very next ball. Derval Green then immediately had the ball swinging prodigiously to bowl Hemraj and pin Pooran leg-before in successive deliveries.

The Warriors’ recovery from such a nightmare start was kicked off by Rutherford. Having survived a huge lbw shout from the hat-trick ball, which pitched just outside leg stump, he hit three fours in four balls from Derval Green’s second over. After a double wicket maiden to start, his second over gave up 16.

Rutherford and Malik then opted for careful accumulation in a stand of 82 before Rutherford was caught in the deep off Imran Khan. Chris Green followed soon after, bowled by Zahir, and that was Malik’s cue to burst into life.

He suddenly started to find the boundary, and scored 38 of the 56 runs the Warriors piled on in the closing five overs of the innings.

A whopping 26 of those runs came in the 19th as Thomas had his figures mangled, 2/14 from three overs ballooning to 2/40 as his spell ended. Both Malik and Paul cleared the ropes, while Malik added two fours in an over that also featured a wide and a no-ball.

Derval Green gave up just seven from the final over, but by then the Warriors had wriggled off the hook and given their fearsome spin attack more than enough to work with.

The Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and Tap ‘N’ Play are working together to bring fans the chance to collect Hero CPL Digicards. These cards can be downloaded using the Tap ‘N’ Play app where they can be saved and traded. Fans using the app can unlock special acheivements as the CPL progesses towards the knockout stages. 

Fans can play games to win in game coins to unlock cards or they can buy whole sets through the app. These collectable Digicards have been available for the ICC Cricket World Cup and the Big Bash in Australia.

Chris Watson, Hero CPL’s Head of Marketing, said: “We are always looking for innovative and engaging ways for our wonderful fans to get more involved in our tournament, and these Tap ‘N’Play cards are a great way for them to do that. It is a great app that allows fans the chance to collect really beautifully designed Digicards featuring their favourite players and we are delighted to have this new addition in 2019.”

Neil Armstong, Managing Director of Tap’N’Play, said: “Trading Cards have entertained sporting fans for decades and Tap’N’Play are really excited to work with the CPL to introduce fans to the new world of digital trading cards through our Tap’N’Play app.

“The colour and atmosphere of the CPL is unrivalled in world cricket and we have hopefully designed the cards to reflect that unique Caribbean culture. Fans can collect all the cards of their favourite players and teams, and the special cards that are released to celebrate the milestones throughout the tournament. We hope the fans enjoy the experience.”

Barbados Tridents kept their hopes of a top-two 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) finish alive with a seven-wicket victory over their rivals and defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders.

Having restricted TKR to just 134/8, the Tridents got home on the back of Johnson Charles’ 47-ball 55 to leapfrog their opponents and St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in the Hero CPL table.

The Knight Riders, without a win in their last five after starting the season with four straight victories, now need to beat the runaway leaders Guyana Amazon Warriors in the final match of the league phase at Providence Stadium on Friday night to edge back above the Tridents and reclaim second place.

While both teams are safely through to the playoffs, second place is still a big prize. It brings a place in Qualifier 1 against the Warriors and two shots at a place in next weekend’s final. The team that misses out faces going straight to the Eliminator against the Patriots and no second chances.

Alex Hales showed some glimpses of his best form in a 54-run opening partnership with Charles, hitting six crisp fours and making 33 to get the Tridents well ahead of the required rate early. While the run-rate slowed after the Tridents had raced to 31/0 after the first three overs and though the chase going right into the final over might not have been exactly the plan, JP Duminy and Ashley Nurse held their nerve to collect the seven runs they needed from Kieron Pollard’s closing over without much alarm.

With wickets in hand, the Tridents always seemed to be in control of a relatively small chase. Although Hales chipped Mark Deyal to cover and Shakib Al Hasan was caught behind, the required rate was always in hand. By the time Chris Jordan yorked Charles for 55, the target was just 25 from 25 balls. Nurse and Duminy used 23 of those balls but got the job done.

The Tridents’ star bowlers Shakib Al Hasan, Harry Gurney and Hayden Walsh Jr were all once again impressive as the Knight Riders were restricted on a sluggish pitch.

Shakib bowled the opening over and ensured the Knight Riders’ experiment of sending in Jimmy Neesham as a pinch-hitting opener would not pay off. He made just a single before skying a slog-sweep to be caught and bowled.

Walsh Jr struck twice in quick succession to bag the key wickets of Colin Munro and Darren Bravo before Shakib returned to clean up Lendl Simmons, the mainstay of the TKR innings and the one TKR batsman to really come to grips with the pitch. He made 60 from 45 with three fours and four sixes with none of his team-mates able to pass 23.

Then it was over to Gurney, whose subtle changes of pace and control of line made him close to unhittable. He didn’t concede a single boundary in his four overs despite bowling both in the powerplay and then at the death. The Knight Riders scrambled just 14 runs from his four overs and lost Kieron Pollard to a slower ball and Denesh Ramdin lbw in the process.

Walsh Jr added a direct hit run out to his night’s work as Javon Searles fell for a duck, while Raymon Reifer got in the wickets column thanks to one of the stranger catches of the season as Duminy misjudged a Deyal hoik as it swirled high in the air and fumbled the catch only for Jonathan Carter to grab the rebound.

The Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) is delighted to announce that FedEx Express is the Official Courier and Express Delivery service of its cricket tournament. During the three-year relationship, FedEx Express will be working with CPL to ensure the movement of the tournament equipment around the Caribbean as it takes stop in Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia and Barbados.

In addition to the transportation services that FedEx Express provides to CPL, the company is adding to the fan experience, for those watching on TV, the “FedEx Fastest Deliveries.” A speed gun is added to the coverage this year, so viewers are able to see which of the world-class quick bowlers, who are part of the tournament, is top of the table in terms of pace.

Jamie Stewart, CPL’s Commercial Director, said: “Putting on the CPL’s tournament each year is an extremely challenging logistical exercise, involving continuous movement of players, officials, television equipment, event materials and many other items essential to the event. With nine event legs in six countries across five and a half weeks, the successful staging of the tournament requires enormous logistics planning.”

“Having FedEx Express, the world's largest express transportation company, support CPL is a tremendous boost for the tournament, and we look forward to drawing on their vast expertise to advise and support the event, as we strive to be as efficient as it can be. Having another truly global and category leading brand assisting is the best possible sign that the tournament is growing both in stature and success, and we look forward to a long and successful association,” added Jamie Stewart.

“FedEx Express is proud of its association with many internationally-renowned sporting leagues and we are excited to serve as the Official Courier and Express Delivery service of The Hero Caribbean Premier League,” said Rakesh Shalia, vice president of marketing and communications of FedEx Express. “This is a great way for us to reinforce our commitment to markets across the Caribbean.”

Guyana Amazon Warriors extended their perfect 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) campaign to eight wins from eight matches with a 19-run win over defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders at the Queen’s Park Oval despite Kieron Pollard and Darren Bravo briefly threatening to pull off an outrageous heist.

The Knight Riders appeared dead and buried at 91/4 with just six overs remaining and still needing 95 more to overhaul the Warriors 185/6. But Pollard and Bravo went on a ferocious six-hitting spree that almost dragged the unlikeliest of wins out of the fire for TKR.

They came up short, though, with Keemo Paul’s 19th over in which only singles came from the last five balls easing the Warriors’ fraying nerves before Tahir bowled Pollard for a sensational 71 from 38 balls with three balls to go and 21 still needed to at last finish the contest. The final winning margin of 19 runs also highlighted the significance of Romario Shepherd’s late cameo with the bat in the Warriors’ innings – he smashed 32* from 13, with two sixes and a four to finish it off as 25 came from Chris Jordan’s closing over.

Yet another win for the Warriors means they have now guaranteed themselves top spot in the regular season with two games to spare, while the Knight Riders still have work to do to secure their own place in the top two and the safety net of a place in Qualifier 1. One win from their two remaining games will do it.

Having muscled their way to 185/6 despite a troubling mid-innings wobble, the Warriors then strangled the Knight Riders top order through their battery of spinners.

Chris Green once again led the way, bowling his four overs off the reel at the top of the innings, removing the dangerous Colin Munro and Lendl Simmons, and returning figures of 2/18.

Imran Tahir did for Mark Deyal and Shoaib Malik had Denesh Ramdin caught in the deep off a slog-sweep to leave TKR reeling at 53/4.

Not even Pollard could rescue the Knight Riders from there, although he gave it a real crack. He shared a swashbuckling 125-run stand with Bravo, who himself cleared the ropes six times in a 46-ball 58 not out, but the required rate continued to climb throughout the partnership. Even when 57 runs were plundered in four overs from the 15th to the 18th.

Paul’s nerveless 19th over was ultimately key, and across the 40 overs the Warriors were deserving winners.

A 98-run second-wicket stand between Chrandrapaul Hemraj and Shimron Hetmyer then Shepherd’s late fireworks lifted the Warriors to their commanding total.

After the early loss of Brandon King, falling straight after taking Khary Pierre for 10 runs in two balls to start the third over, Hemraj took stock and then took charge.

Only 35/1 was on the board after the powerplay but the boundaries started to flow – for Hemraj in particular, who smashed four Hero Maximums and reached a 34-ball half-century with back-to-back fours off Jordan.

When Hemraj was caught behind off a wide Javon Searles yorker for 66, Hetmyer exploded into life in thrilling yet sadly for the Warriors all too brief fashion.

Searles’ next over started with the wicket of Nicholas Pooran and ended with that of Hetmyer slicing to Pierre at deep point. In between came 17 runs as Hetmyer flayed two fours and a gorgeous six carved high and handsome over backward point.

The failed attempt to repeat the dose saw Hetmyer depart the scene furious with himself and two short of a half-century.

The Warriors innings threatened to subside at that point in the face of some fine bowling from Ali Khan (1/23) in particular.

From 111/1 and 136/3, the Warriors found themselves 143/6 when Malik and Sherfane Rutherford fell to catches in the deep having added just a single between them.

But Shepherd ensured the Warriors would get up past not just 160 but also 180. He flayed a couple of early boundaries through the offside, but it was the two Hero Maximums and one-bounce four with which he finished the innings – 25 in all coming from Jordan’s closing over – that would ultimately take the Warriors out of Pollard and the Knight Riders’ reach.

St Kitts & Nevis Patriots secured their 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) playoff spot in dramatic style as Dominic Drakes bowled Harry Gurney with the final ball of the night to seal a thrilling one-run victory over Barbados Tridents, who now face a winner-takes-all clash with St Lucia Zouks on Sunday after a dramatic batting collapse when victory appeared in their grasp. 

A truly sensational display of sustained hitting from JP Duminy and a ridiculously good bowling effort from Hayden Walsh Jr allowed Barbados Tridents to finally end their eight-match losing home run in the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) in fine style with a 63-run defeat of defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders.

Duminy scored the fastest ever Hero CPL half-century before Walsh Jr took three wickets in four balls on his way to the first five-wicket haul of the season as the Knight Riders came up well short in their pursuit of the Tridents’ 192/5.

The Tridents had been given a solid platform by openers Johnson Charles and Jonathan Carter, both men passing 50 in a first-wicket stand worth 110.

But they took almost 14 overs getting those runs and, when both openers and then Alex Hales all fell in quick succession, the Tridents innings appeared to be falling away.

Duminy had other ideas, blasting his way to 65 from just 20 balls – his 50 coming up in a Hero CPL record of just 15 – to propel his team to a winning total

Perhaps the most astonishing element of Duminy’s innings is that he had only 3 to his name after the first five balls he faced.

From that moment he faced 15 further deliveries. The 15th dismissed him. The second was bunted down the ground for a scampered two. The final balls of the 18th and 19th overs were deliberately knocked away for singles to retain the strike. The other 11 were sent to or over the boundary. There weren’t many mishits in there. Short balls, full balls, slower balls. All got the same treatment. The seven sixes all cleared the boundary with something to spare.

Ali Khan’s third over went for 24 – his three-over spell cost him 51 in all; James Neesham’s only over cost 25. In all, 76 came from the last five overs of the innings as the innings was brought dramatically back to life after the disappointment of the three quick wickets.

Carter’s half-century, his first in the Hero CPL, will certainly not live as long in the memory as Duminy’s but having been promoted up the order he did the job asked of him in providing a base from which his team-mates could launch with his 46-ball 51.

Charles was more fluent in his 58 from 39, striking the ball crisply and collecting eight fours.

But ultimately this was an innings about one man, even if he was only actually batting for around a quarter of it.

And he wasn’t finished. The Knight Riders had made a lightning start to their chase of 193 for victory despite losing openers Lendl Simmons and Sunil Narine to Harry Gurney and Jason Holder respectively.

Colin Munro had flown to 23 from 12 when a rare miscue sent the ball high into the sky but over the backpedaling Holder at mid-off.

While everyone else watched to see whether Holder could get back for a catch, Duminy screeched fully 40 yards around the boundary edge before diving and coming up with the ball to complete a stunning catch.

Walsh Jr then started his own contribution to the Tridents’ success as he bowled Denesh Ramdin for 11 from 14 balls.

Pollard, Neesham and Seekkuge all fell in his second over to leave the Knight Riders reeling at 83/7 and out of the contest, while Walsh Jr had the amazing figures of 2-0-4-4.

Darren Bravo took a four and a six off the leg-spinner to slightly dent those figures, but Walsh Jr was not to be denied for long. He teased Bravo into a miscue outside off stump to secure his fifth wicket and spark wild celebrations around the Kensington Oval.

For all Walsh Jr’s brilliance, it was still fitting that the final word should go to Duminy and sure enough he finished off a remarkable night’s work by dismissing Khary Pierre and Ali Khan to wrap up a thumping win that lifts the Tridents above St Lucia Zouks into the final playoff spot.

The Knight Riders remain second despite having now gone three matches without a victory after winning their first four.

Brandon King’s unbeaten 81 helped Guyana Amazon Warriors make it a magnificent seven wins out of seven in their 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) campaign with a comfortable eight-wicket victory over St Lucia Zouks at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground.

The Warriors are assured of a top-two finish and with it a place in the first qualifier for a place in the final with the safety net of a second chance should they lose that one.

The Zouks remain fourth but may need win both their remaining games to have a decent chance of staying there given the Tridents are just a point behind with two games in hand.

No such concerns for the Warriors, though, who were given the ideal start to their pursuit of 162 for victory here by Chandrapaul Hemraj, who smashed two fours and three Hero Maximums in a 20-ball 33 that put Guyana ahead of the eight-an-over required rate at the outset.

When he fell, skying a sweep shot off Fawad Ahmed, King took up the charge having been relatively quiet while Hemraj was doing his thing. All but one of King’s six sixes came after Hemraj had been dismissed and, despite the loss of Shimron Hetmyer for just 5 to a caught behind decision that displeased him, the Warriors reached the 10-over mark exactly halfway to their target at 81/2 with plenty of batting options still to come. They didn’t need it, King and Shoaib Malik, who finished on 30, easing the Warriors past the target with almost two overs to spare with an unbroken 92-run stand for the third wicket.

After 12 overs, that required rate of 8.1 from the last 10 had come down to barely a run a ball thanks to King. He took Barnwell’s first three balls for two sixes and a four, with Shoaib Malik striking another four through backward point to round off an over that put 21 on the total. Along the way, King reached another classy half-century and the Warriors passed 100.

Suddenly, the target was a routine 49 from 48 and from there it was a cruise for the table-toppers, Malik stroking the winning single down the ground with 10 balls to spare.

Earlier, there was another masterclass in spin bowling from the Warriors. All six overs of the Powerplay were bowled by spinners, with Chris Green and Imran Tahir particularly impressive. Their five overs under the fielding restrictions gave up just 20 runs. At one point the pair between them bowled 10 successive deliveries without conceding a run while the Zouks lost their first two wickets.

Andre Fletcher was first to go, skying one miles into the St Lucia sky and being well held by Ben Laughlin to give Tahir the first of his two wickets. The second was a bad moment for Rahkeem Cornwall, run out having failed to run his bat in yet being so far over the crease that he almost made his ground with his foot.

From 21/0 after three overs, the Zouks found themselves 24/2 in the sixth.

The Colins Ingram and de Grandhomme set about repairing the damage. De Grandhomme ended the runless streak by depositing Green onto the grass banks at midwicket.

Ingram contributed 25 from 14 balls to a 56-run stand before drilling Tahir low, hard and flat to long-off where Green held a stinging running catch.

De Grandhomme carried on, though, and reached an excellent half-century – his first in the Hero CPL - from just 27 balls with four Hero Maximums.

What he lacked, though, was further Ingram-style support. Jahmar Hamilton and Daren Sammy each made 9 off 10 and 15 balls respectively, and the pressure to accelerate the scoring began to tell on de Grandhomme who duly holed out for 65 when there were still three overs left where he could have caused some damage.

Barnwell did give the Zouks one final lift by taking Shepherd for three successive sixes in the 19th over, but the 20th from Laughlin was superb. He picked up two wickets while conceding just three singles to finish with eye-catching figures of 3/12 from three overs and leave the Zouks well short of where they needed to be.

The Trinbago Knight Riders have announced that Chris Jordan will be joining the team for the remainder of the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

Jordan will be replacing Mohammad Hasnain who has returned to Pakistan for domestic and international commitments.

Barbadian born Jordan has played eight Tests, 31 ODIs and 39 T20Is for England, picking up 111 international wickets in those matches.

He has played T20 cricket in the T20 Blast in the UK, the Big Bash in Australia, the Pakistan Super League and the Indian Premier League.

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