The Guyana Amazon Warriors must be breathing a sigh of relief after brushing aside the Select XI by 72 runs in the final warm-up match yesterday at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.
They were led to victory on the back of strong performance from skipper Martin Guptill, Jason Mohammed, and Rayed Emrit and, in the process, dispelled whatever doubts there were about the team’s form heading into the fifth edition of the biggest party in sport, the Caribbean Premier League.
The Warriors, who opted to bat first, found themselves on the back foot early on when Romario Shepherd removed Chadwick Walton (3) in the second over with the score on 11-1.
Martin Guptill and Babar Azam combined to add 48 from the next six overs to lay a solid platform for the middle and lower order.
Guptill, who looked much better yesterday, got going by taking 15 runs off the fourth over. He stroked a delivery from Shepherd down the ground for four after which he smashed him for a six which landed on the pavilion top to push the score along.
He then smoked Sherfane Rutherford for 19 runs in the following over, including a savage pull over mid-wicket for six to carry the score to 48 for one after the fifth over.
His knock, however, ended when he was stumped off the bowling of Gudakesh Motie for 47 from 25 deliveries. His innings included two sixes and six fours and the score at that stage was 59 for 2 in the eighth over.
Azam and Jason Mohammed then took the score to 66 for 2 at the half way point.
The two carried the score to 115 in the sixth over with smart running between the wickets mixed with a few blows from Babar who departed for 41 to give Motie his second wicket.
Mohammed (45) then unleashed a number of late blows to end the innings on 160 for five from their allotted overs. Chanderpaul Hemraj’s 2 for 23 from four overs, was the pick of the lot for the Select XI.
The Select XI’s reply was much more subdued owing to a more focused Warriors attack which resulted in them being 45 for 3 at the half way point with Rajendra Chandrika (10), Leon Johnson (10) and Robin Bacchus (6) all back in the pavilion.
They, however, ended on 88 for seven after tidy spells from Rayad Emrit who snared 3-12 while Veerasammy Permaul ended with 2-17.
Coach Roger Harper speaking after the match said that he was quite satisfied with the preparation of the team heading into the tournament.
Harper, however, did point out that the final combination was not quite settled. Touching on the team’s inability to cross the final hurdle after ending as runners-up in 2013, 2014 and 2016 Harper said that his charges are more focused on taking it one game at a time to qualify for the playoff after which they try to bring their best game to play the way they know they can.
The team will depart today for Miami Florida where they will play opening match against the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots on Saturday.