Guyana Amazon Warriors recorded a convincing eight wicket victory over the St. Lucia Zouks in the Caribbean Premier League at the St Kitts' Warner Park Cricket stadium in Basseterre on Sunday.
The openers of both sides came good as they scored the bulk of the runs for their respective sides.
Batting first, Darren Sammy's St.Lucia Zouks registered a good score of 189 runs. Chasing 190 was never going be easy, but the Warriors pulled off a win after their openers put 154 runs together. Lendl Simmons was particularly devastating as he racked up 97 runs. He was unfortunate to be run out just three short of a hundred. Simmons' opening partner Martin Guptill of New Zealand gave him good support, as he made 66
Interestingly, the Simmons and Guptill partnership may not have gone beyond the second over had Liam Sebastian not dropped the former off Tino Best. Simmons was yet to score at this point. After being given a life, Simmons was determined to make them pay. In that very over, he went after Best as he came down the track and hammered the fourth delivery for a six over midwicket.
Simmons then made Best pay for a no-ball that he bowled earlier in the over by hitting a four off the last ball. Guptill then got into the act the next over when he hit a four off Sohail Tanvir.
Simmons had more pain in store for Best as he took him apart in over number three hammering him for 26 runs. The opener launched into him off the very first ball of the over as he hit a six over mid-wicket. The very next ball Simmons cleared the ropes once more. By now the opener was well and truly on the attack. He struck two more fours off Best. He wasn't done yet, as off the fifth ball he hammered one more six.
Simmons continued in the same vein as he reached his fifty in the eighth over. Guptill, not to be left out, was hitting sixes and fours too. In over number nine he clouted Sammy for a six and a four. He brought up his half-century in over number 13. Guptill went on to make 66 before being caught by Kevin Pietersen off Tino Best in the 17th over.
Guptill's dismissal seemed to have no effect on Simmons who was still hitting the boundaries will. Simmons was especially severe on Mervin Mathew, smashing the bowler for three sixes in the 18th over. He deserved a hundred but in the quest of improving his team's run rate, he was run out by Best. After that, Christopher Barnwell and skipper Denesh Ramdin took the Warriors home.
Earlier in the day another opening pair Andre Fletcher and Johnson Charles shone for the Zouks as they put on 139 runs. They made 78 and 62 respectively.
It was their opening stand that propelled the Zouks toward 189. Ironically, the 139-run partnership was a first wicket record in the Caribbean Premier League till Simmons and Guptill broke it in the very next innings. An aggressive 22 by skipper Sammy helped them get to 189 as well. The Zouks with the big score on the board, would have fancied their chances but then they ran into Simmons and Guptill.
1] Barbados Tridents 12 points
2] Guyana Amazon Warriors 12 points
3] Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel 12 points
4] Jamaica Tallawahs 12 points
5] St.Lucia Zouks 4 points
6] Antigua Hawksbills 4 points