CPL: Runs for Ronchi as Warriors wrap up preparatory camp

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By Avenash Ramzan

Opener Luke Ronchi spent some valuable time in the middle on Tuesday evening as the Guyana Amazon Warriors wrapped up their Hero Caribbean Premier League preparatory camp with a second practice game at the National Stadium, Providence.

Batting under the lights, the right-handed New Zealand wicket-keeper/batsman was circumspect upfront, before blossoming nicely, stroking an unbeaten 48 for Shoaib Malik’s XI.

Malik’s XI had been set a revised target of 155 from a maximum of 20 overs, after Rayad Emrit’s XI batted first and posted 110.

Emrit’s XI had been bowled out before the stipulated 20 overs, but were allowed to use up the remaining deliveries, all in the interest of maximising competitive on-field action.

Malik’s XI reached the target in 19.4 overs when Akshaya Persaud’s (5*) lofted shot over cover off Emrit sped away to the boundary.

From a Warriors perspective, Ronchi seeing it to the end would be immensely satisfying as the Kiwi is expected to play a key role this season.

Shoaib Malik gets on his toes to pull this Rayad Emrit delivery

A crowd that far outnumbered what is seen in First-Class cricket in Guyana may have also spurred Ronchi to dig deep, as they continuously spew words of encouragement under the night sky.

That he initially showed considerable restraint and patience against some quality bowling from fellow international signings leg-spinner Imran Tahir, seamer Sohail Tanvir and off-spinner Chris Green before stamping his authority on the run-chase would please coach Johan Botha and the technical staff.

A late flourish of 172 runs from four games at the back-end of the tournament last season booked his spot this year, and if Tuesday’s innings is any indication of form, then bowlers could be in for a torrid time over the next six weeks.

Unlike Ronchi’s diligent approach, Malik was more free-flowing, easy to 37 in a fourth wicket partnership of 68 with the New Zealander. Malik’s XI lost Chadwick Walton (15), Shimron Hetmyer (17) Jason Mohammed (9) and Sherfane Rutherford (15) cheaply, as Green again impressed with 2-20 and Tahir bagged 2-33.

Emrit’s XI earlier struggled to get a partnership going after Trevon Griffith (14) and Anthony Bramble (16) opened with a stand of 32. Wickets tumbled regularly, and had it not been for an innings of 36 from former Guyana Amazon Warriors batsman Christopher Barnwell, the damage could have been even more severe.

Veerasammy Permaul picked up 3-24, Devendra Bishoo had 2-23 and Clinton Pestano 2-31.

Guyana Amazon Warriors opened their campaign in the Hero CPL on Thursday (August 9) at 18:00h against 2017 runners-up St. Kitts Patriots at the National Stadium, Providence.

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