Zouks squeak home by two runs over Warriors

Fidel Edwards held his nerve in the final over to give the St Lucia Zouks a narrow two-run win over the Guyana Amazon Warriors in game six of the Hero CPL T20 tournament played at Gros Islet, St Lucia.

The Warriors required 14 off the final six balls and Edwards (2-35) removed Tillakaratne Dilshan (26) with a middle stump aimed yorker.

After Sunil Narine (*02) missed the second and scored a single off the third, Brad Hodge who was unbeaten on 44, scored a boundary before picking up a single, putting Narine back on strike as the Warriors needed six off the last ball.

Kemar Roach produced an outstanding spell of fast bowling.
Kemar Roach produced an outstanding spell of fast bowling.

Edwards then bowled a wide, giving Guyana one more crack at the cherry before holding his nerve to allow Narine only two runs as the Zouks won by 3.

Guyana ended on 154 for 5 in their 18 overs after rain reduced the affair to 18 overs aside. Hodge top scored with his unbeaten 44 or 30 with four fours and two sixes while contributions from Denesh Ramdin 21 and Chris Barnwell 26 were in vain.

St Lucia who looked well on course for a 200 plus score ended on 156 for 6 in their 18 overs after openers Andre Fletcher hit 36 of 22 with five fours and a six and match MVP Johnson Charles a blistering 47 off 26 with two fours and four big sixes.

New Zealand’s Ross Taylor was left unbeaten on 30 with one six after the Warriors led by spinners Veerasammy Permaul who picked up 2-24, Sunil Narine 2-32 and an expensive Ronsford Beaton who picked up 2-40 from three overs, managed to pull things back.

Lendl Simmons (14) and Dilshan went for more than 10 runs an over as they pounced on a few slack opening overs from the Zouks bowlers.

Dilshan was then struck on the face by a short ball from Roach which led to him being escorted off the field by medics, bringing Shivnarine Chanderpaul to the crease in his place.

Roach then continued his aggression which soon led to the fall of Simmons who fended off another good short ball and was caught by Sammy. The Warriors brought up their 50 in seven overs but then suffered a slight setback after losing skipper Ramdin who struck a 10-ball 21 with one for and two sixes and Shiv Chanderpaul for a 17-ball 7 with one four. Hodge and Barnwell consolidated with a boundary-filled counter attack, bringing up 50 or 34 balls but then lost the latter who was caught by Kyle Mayers at mid-on.

Dilshan returned to partner Hodge as the Warriors required 37 runs from 16 balls. Hodge smashed the final ball of the 16th over bowled by Edwards for a six to give the Warriors hope.

Dilshan hit back-to-back fours off Roach’s first two balls of the 17th over while Hodge smacked the fourth one back over his head for four. Earlier, Fletcher and Charles added another half-century stand when they were involved in a brisk 77 for the first wicket.

Charles was the more aggressive of the two striking at 180-plus while Fletcher was smashing them at 163 as the two right-handers brought up the Zouks’ 50 inside five overs.

Both right handers look set for big scores before Beaton who was hammered early on returned to have Fletcher trapped lbw.

Charles continued before the magician Narine stepped in and had him stumped by Ramdin while he followed up with the wicket of Kyle Mayers (01).

Kevin Pietersen (05) was bowled around the legs by Permaul who then had South African Henry Davids pinned leg before for 4.

Taylor continued to rotate the strike along with skipper Sammy (18), who was then caught and bowled by Beaton in his third over, leaving Taylor and Roach stranded at the expiration of the overs.

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