A CPL record 148-run second-wicket partnership between Dwayne Smith and Shoaib Malik was trumped byRonsford Beaton’s spectacular final over to give the Guyana Amazon Warriors a seven-run win over the Barbados Tridents at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados.
The Tridents seemed certain to overhaul a target of 174 thanks to Smith’s second century in three matches and entered the final over needing 11 to win with Smith on strike on 101 having already hit eight fours and six sixes. Guyana captain Denesh Ramdin entrusted 21-year-old Beaton with defending those 11 runs and he did it with plenty to spare.
Fortune appeared to be shining on Smith and the Tridents after Smith tried to slog a yorker only for the ball to deflect off his pads and knock into leg stump without dislodging the bails. Beaton speared in three more yorkers to Smith that resulted in a two, a dot and a single to put Jonathan Carter on strike needing eight off the final two to win. Beaton fired in a wide yorker to combat Carter’s premeditated scoop shot resulting in another dot ball to effectively seal the match with one ball remaining and put the icing on the cake with another dot off the final ball for good measure.
Despite plenty of wickets in hand for the Tridents, the foundation for the tight finish was laid in the 17th when the 148-run second-wicket partnership was broken after Malik was caught short trying to steal a single for Smith. Lendl Simmons circled around and connected with a direct hit from backward point to send Malik on his way for 50.
Five balls later, Beaton struck with a full inswinger to bowl Kieron Pollard for a duck and then finished the 18th by running out Jeevan Mendis off his own bowling. Smith dug out a yorker and tried to scamper a single but Beaton charged down the pitch in his follow through and underhanded into the striker’s end stumps to leave 16 needed off 12 with six wickets in hand. Krishmar Santokie conceded five singles in the 19th before Beaton’s final over sealed it for the Amazon Warriors as the Tridents ended on 166 for 4.
Earlier in the day, Simmons and Martin Guptill provided contrasting half-centuries from the top of the order for the Amazon Warriors after being sent in to bat. The pair produced a record stand of their own by adding 103, the best first-wicket partnership in the CPL and sixth best for any wicket. Simmons fell on the final ball of the 12th over for 64, caught on the boundary attempting to slog Mendis’ legspin for his fifth six. Guptill dropped anchor afterward and let his fresh partners slog away around him.
Mohammad Hafeez was particularly effective, smacking two fours and three sixes to make 30 off 10 balls before he was dismissed by Pollard two balls into the 20th. Guptill wound up carrying his bat as Guyana finished on 173 for 5 with Guptill unbeaten on 55 off 51 balls and his patience was vindicated by the end of the day. The Amazon Warriors now sit on eight points alongside the Red Steel at the top of the CPL table while the Tridents fall back in a tie for third with the Tallawahs on six points. (Cricinfo/Espn)