CPL: Amazon Warriors implode as Patriots win again

SUMMARY: SKN Patriots 132 for 3 (Gayle 66*, King 39) beat Guyana Amazon Warriors 128 for 8 (Mohammed 41, Singh 28, Cottrell 2-28) by four runs.

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The slowest T20 half-century of Chris Gayle’s career wound up being an incredibly valuable one as St Kitts and Nevis Patriots defended 132, including seven off the final over, to beat Guyana Amazon Warriors by three runs in Florida. Two run-outs on either side of a Carlos Brathwaite yorker in a chaotic last over sealed a second win in two days for the Patriots.

Gayle struck 85 off 52 balls on this ground five years ago against in a then record score of 209 for 2, against New Zealand. On this weekend’s pitch, timing the ball off the wicket was difficult. Three of the six balls Gayle hit to or over the rope in his innings came off full tosses.

Chris Gayle held the innings together in another low-scoring game in Florida

However, he still only had 15 dots in his 55-ball unbeaten 66, searching for singles far more than usual to take Patriots to 132 for 3. They needed every bit of Gayle’s output after fellow opener Evin Lewis, who scored a T20 century on this ground a year ago against India, struggled to 4 off 15.

Amazon Warriors captain Martin Guptill sat out with a left hamstring strain. It meant that USA captain Steven Taylor, who grew up 20 minutes away in Miramar and has spent most of his life playing on the Lauderhill wicket, was promoted from No. 5 to open with Chadwick Walton in pursuit of Patriots’ 132 for 3.

The Central Broward Regional Park was the site of one of Taylor’s two T20 centuries for USA, but after scoring 7 on Saturday, he only managed a skewed two over point that came off his first ball facing Samuel Badree. Five dots of pressure followed before the American charged down the wicket. Badree was expecting it, and bowled slightly wider and flatter. Devon Thomas collected for a simple stumping.

Afghanistan’s presidential maiden CPL wicket

One of Mohammad Nabi’s nicknames in Afghanistan is “The President” for his icon status. Both he and Rashid Khan went wicketless on day one in Florida, and Rashid endured a frustrating time in the field again on Sunday, finishing with 0 for 36 in four overs.

It took 11.2 overs of the second innings before Nabi finally took the first wicket by an Afghan in the CPL. Nabi had conceded just eight off his first two overs and two balls into his third, Babar Azam tried to take him over Brathwaite at long-off. But the Pakistan batsman was beaten in flight and a simple catch was taken to create a bit of CPL history. After his 0 for 17 on Saturday, he ended with 1 for 18 on Sunday.

Supersub one moment, human the next

Fabian Allen came on as a sub fielder for Brandon King and pulled off an early contender for catch of the tournament, perhaps even the catch of 2017. Jason Mohammed was on 41, with 31 needed off four overs and seven wickets in hand. Two overs earlier, Jason Mohammed had carved Brathwaite over cover for six. He tried to find that region against Hasan Ali at the start of the 17th.

Mohammed timed the ball fairly well but struck it much squarer as it hung up in the crossbreeze. Allen was cover sweeping and tracked 20 yards before flying through the air, reaching out with his preferred left hand to pluck an absolute stunner.

Allen showed he was human after all though, just one over later. Gajanand Singh drove to Allen, who fumbled a collection on the boundary and then compounded the error with a horrendous relay that beat Thomas and the backup fielder for two costly overthrows in a tense chase.

Amazon Warriors needed eight off the final over with five wickets in hand and Gajanand on 28. After a single first ball by Rayad Emrit, Brathwaite fired a yorker down leg for a wide. Emrit called Gajanand through to steal another run, but Thomas fired a direct hit to remove Emrit.

A single by Sohail Tanvir put Gajanand back on strike. But the batsman was bowled as he tried to ramp a Brathwaite yorker, to elevate the tension in the ground. New man Veerasammy Permaul missed a swipe on a delivery angled through his legs – another bye was attempted to try and get Sohail Tanvir through to strike, but Thomas struck with a direct-hit again. Amazon Warriors now needed a four from Rashid off the last ball to force a super over. But he couldn’t get bat on Brathwaite’s full one off the last ball. (ESPNCricinfo)

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