Guyana Amazon Warriors (GAW) were handed their first loss of the season at the Providence National Stadium last night after they went down to Barbados Tridents by 30 runs in their 2018 HERO Caribbean Premier League matchup.
Tridents were indebted to Shai Hope’s 45-ball blitz of 88, a Man-of-the-Match 5-20 bowling performance from Raymon Reifer and a pulsating batting display by Nicholas Pooran.
Trident’s Jason Holder lost his first toss as captain in the CPL and was invited to bat by Shoaib Malik.
They duly racked up an imposing 185-4 from their 20 overs and, in reply, the Warriors were only able to muster 155-8.
Malik at the end of the match said it was a good track to bat on and credit must be given to the opposition for their efforts while Holder noted that it was good to start their campaign.
Rayad Emrit pulled off a brilliant one-handed catch at long off to bring an early momentum into Warriors unit as former GAW captain, Martin Guptill departed for a second ball duck off of Sohail Tanvir’s first over.
Warriors continued to spit fire in the power play with Malik taking a sharp catch at cover to dismiss Dwayne Smith, trying to find the boundary off of off spinner, Chris Green.
However, Tridents recovered with debutants Steve Smith and Hope seeing them to 44-2 at the end of the first six overs.
The former Australian captain, Smith, flicked a delivery from Emrit into the square leg boundary and followed up with a slap to deep mid-wicket to bring up the 50 partnership between the two.
But Warriors kept up their consistency in the field during the first 10 overs allowing the Tridents to only reach 69-2 from the first half of the innings.
Tridents shifted gear in the second half with Hope launching Imran Tahir over the ropes at long off off successive deliveries while Smith finessed Keemo Paul for back-to-back boundaries in the backward point region.
Hope guided Paul down to third man in the same over to bring up his maiden T20 half century from just 30 balls.
Tridents raced to the 100-run mark in the 13th over as Hope continued his destruction, bringing up the century stand with his fourth six which landed in the Red Stand at long off.
He then cleared his front leg to plant a six into the Red Stand once again off Tanvir whose over went for 20 runs.
Tanvir, however, clawed the Warriors back into the contest by breaking the partnership, trapping Smith leg before wicket for 41 as Tridents moved to 116-3.
Pooran was dropped at point on 16 allowing a quick single to put Hope on strike who sent the next delivery into the stands but his superb innings was brought to an end with a good catch from Shimron Hetymer at long off. His knock of 88 included six fours and six sixes.
Pooran sank his teeth into Paul’s final over, hitting him for three sixes to finish unbeaten on 47 from 25 balls. In reply, Chadwick Walton launched Holder into the sight screen for the first maximum of the innings but was hit on the hip and given leg before wicket the next ball to end the second over. Hetmyer could have departed in the third over nicking left arm seamer Mohammad Irfan between the wicket keeper and first slip four a boundary before flogging Irfan into mid-on for a six two balls later.
The 21-year-old was given yet another life, the ball falling safely in front of fine leg and he then punished Holder with a massive six through mid-wicket and a four in the same region off of successive deliveries.
Reifer struck twice in two balls removing both set batsman as Luke Ronchi tried one shot too many, miscuing a short ball down the throat of Ashley Nurse at short mid-wicket for 10 while Hetmyer was caught at deep cover for 22 from nine balls to leave Warriors reeling at 40-3 after five overs.
Barbados were back in the game with Warriors almost mirroring their score at six overs with 46-3. Malik opened the face of the bat to guide Irfan down to third man for his first boundary, in the process bringing up his 8000th run in T20s, only the fourth batsman to do so behind Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum and Kieron Pollard.
The pair batted cautiously and again matched the Tridents’ score at the halfway score, just one run ahead at 70-3.
Malik brought up the 50 partnership with an elegant glance but was cut off for just two by Guptill.
Despite the odd boundaries and a 15-run over from Holder, the asking rate climbed to 12.83 with 77 required from the last six overs.
Rutherford benefited from a misfield by Nurse that trickled into the fence for four and was dropped by Reifer who failed to hold on to a difficult catch with him on 37.
Malik sent the crowd into a frenzy with a six over long off but Ashley Nurse had his revenge as the captain chopped an ordinary off break delivery onto the stumps, ending his innings of 38 from 30 balls including two fours and two sixes.
The penultimate over saw Reifer removing Green, Jason Mohammed and Rutherford who mistimed a slow ball that bounced on his hand into the keeper for 48 to bring up his maiden five wicket haul.