CPL: “I do think this is the year for us” – Hetmyer

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By Akeem Greene

Though just one match into the 2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL), Guyana Amazon Warriors young batting sensation Shimron Hetmyer believes the team has what it takes to lift the coveted title.

“Just support us; I do think this is the year for us,” Hetmyer told media operatives on Thursday evening after scoring a blistering 45-ball 79, which lead Warriors to an opening victory on home turf against St. Kitts Patriots.

The heart-breaking history for its supporters is widely known; qualifying for the play-offs in all of the previous five years, making it to the finals thrice, but never winning.

Maybe, the adrenaline of his pulsating performance was still high, but certainly if himself or some of the other young brigades match or come close to his tenacious power-hitting, they could finally get the right picks to win the lottery.

Reflecting on the night, the 21-year-old noted that despite it is only his second CPL innings, it is one he rates highly based on the confidence of scoring 177 runs in the two One Day Internationals at Providence in late July against Bangladesh.

“I would say that is one of my best innings in T20 cricket, I have not played that much T20 cricket, but I would say that is a top innings from me.  I always love playing in front of my home crowd, trying to make everyone proud of me and I hope I did that tonight.”

He added, “It [Bangladesh series] helped me quite a lot to know more about the pitches because I have never played on the new pitches before the series.”

Slipping to 9-2 in the second over in pursuit of 147, the young star explained he did not panic and decided to play a charismatic counter-attacking innings which had some headlines after the match reading, “Hit-myer trumps Gayle in big-hitting contest.”

Chris Gayle smashed 86 from 65 an innings that included five sixes and seven fours, while Hetmyer had four and nine of the equivalent.

“I didn’t [feel any pressure] because I know they had guys in the hut, even Sherfane Rutherford who is a very good batsman and he didn’t a get a chance. What we talk about in the meeting is try to take it right through to the end and I guess that was my job tonight,” he said.

In the fifth over, the lively Alzarri Joseph was introduced into the attack. It was a former Windies youth captain facing up against one of his arsenals in the success of the 2016 ICC U-19 World Cup.

However, it was far from a pleasant reunion since the left-hander took him for 20 runs, which helped shift the momentum back in favour of Warriors.

“We do have a bragging rights between us. Before the game he was telling me don’t let me get you and I laughed and said let’s see how it goes,” Hetmyer said.

Another key element from the youth campaign was Keemo Paul, who had miserly figures of 2-16 from four overs, a performance which has left  the  Berbican  duly impressed.

“That was fantastic from Keemo, holding his nerve and bowling that last over was fantastic.”

Warriors’ next assignment is on Saturday against St Lucia Stars from 16:00h, then Barbados Tridents from 18:00h on Sunday.  Commenting on areas from improvement, he stated, “We played a fantastic game, just some minor errors and it is nothing we can’t work on.”

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