CPL: Hetmyer’s class act leads Amazon Warriors to opening victory

SUMMARY: Guyana Amazon Warriors 148-4 from 16.3 overs (Shimron Hetmyer 79*, Chris Green 25*, Sandeep Lamichhane 2-12, Sheldon Cottrell 2-21) beat St. Kitts Patriots 146-5 from 20 overs (Chris Gayle 86, Keemo Paul 2-16).

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Another evergreen performance from young batting maestro Shimron Hetmyer at Providence had the fans swaying from side to side in jubilation and most importantly secured an opening victory for the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the 2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) on Thursday.

The future of Windies cricket were on show and Hetmyer followed his compatriot Keemo Paul- who was devastating with the ball- cracking a 45-ball 79 which meant Warriors emphatically chased 147 in 16.3 overs.

It was hard to find fault with anything the pugnacious batsman did on the night.  Oh, maybe he didn’t smash into the stands, but he certainly smashed it hard enough to clear the ropes on four occasions for which every four or six brought the locals alive in the Biggest Party in Sport.

Shots on both sides of the wicket; he even tamed the youthful exuberance of his Youth World Cup winner, Alzarri Joseph, taking him for 20 in the fifth over, which raced his team to 62-3 in the Powerplay.

The only threatening bowler for the Patriots in an attack which lacked depth was leggie Sandeep Lamichhane, who limited the Warriors to 9-2 until the left-hander’s full force of power took toll and shared a 62-run partnership with Jason Mohammed which steadied the innings.

Chris Green, batting ahead of Sherfane Rutherford, smashed a quick-fire 25 to seal the thumping victory.

Chris Green gathers on-side runs (Shatanand Anude photo)

Patriots lacked intensity

The out-of-form Evin Lewis scratched around until he was undone by an arm-ball from the lanky off-spinner Green. Where Lewis failed to step on the accelerator, Chris Gayle used all his years of experience to decide when to launch a massive attack.

In addition to consistently running uncharacteristic twos, Gayle picked the bowlers whom he wanted to savage, one of which was Green whom he took for 19 in the 10th over to help his side reach 71-1.

While others found the two-paced wicket quite difficult, the Jamaican ensured his Universe Boss title was no way in jeopardy by constantly picking up boundaries from long-on to cow-corner region.

The fans loved it despite him being the “enemy for the night” as he brought great excitement, hitting five towering sixes and seven fours, which essentially was the bedrock of his team’s total.

Netherlands’ Tom Cooper’s painful stay in the middle came to end when Paul produced one of his classic in-swingers to the right-hander. The rest of the scorecard did not make much good reading since none of the power-hitters, such as Anton Devcich, Ben Cutting and Carlos Brathwaite never got going which meant they ended on a below-par total.

Paul, fresh off his Windies duties, was the pick of the bowlers, deceiving batsmen with his pace and variations, while seasoned campaigner Sohail Tanveer who kept the shackles on Gayle with the new-ball.

The home side will now move on full of confidence to their clash with St. Lucia Stars on Saturday (August 11) from 16:00h, then Barbados Tridents the following day from 18:00h.

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