CPL: Shadab, Green and Paul spur Warriors to opening win

SUMMARY: Guyana Amazon Warriors 155-9 from 20 overs (Paul 38, Green 28, Malik 28; McCoy 4-41, Ahmed 2-25) beat St. Lucia Zouks 142-9 from 20 overs (Cornwall 36, Zadran 23; Khan 3-16, Shepherd 2-18, Green 2-28) by 13 runs

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By Akeem Greene

Guyana Amazon Warriors maintained their superior record against St. Lucia Zouks, winning by 13 runs in their opening match of the seventh edition of the Hero Caribbean Premier League at the National Stadium, Providence, Thursday evening.

Zouks, who have now lost eight of their 12 encounters against the Warriors, stumbled in their climb to the summit of 156.  Despite an early blitz of 36 (7x4s; 1×6) from 14 balls by Rahkeem Cornwall, Zouks lost wickets at regular intervals which stymied their chase.

Fifty-three runs were scored in the Powerplay, placing the Zouks ahead at that point, but they had also lost three wickets. Najibullah Zadran played some delightful shots in his 23, but the spin duo Shadab Khan and Chris Green kept the shackles tight.

Keemo Paul of Guyana Amazon Warriors hits a six during match two of the Hero Caribbean Premier League between Guyana Amazon Warriors and St Lucia Zouks at Guyana National Stadium on September 5, 2019 in Providence, Guyana. (Photo by Randy Brooks – CPL T20/Getty Images)

It was an all-round performance from Warriors, who also had their own batting slumps, which was halted by some powerful hitting by Green and Keemo Paul.

The plot within the match of Christopher Barnwell up against his former team was a damp squib, with Khan dragging him out of his crease, the right-hander stumped for seven.

Daren Sammy scored 18 with some towering maximums, but he too was undone by the precise bowling of Khan, and from there-on it was flat line to victory.

Even with 21 needed off 12 and two wickets intact, Warriors still remained clear favourites and just proved such.

Warriors had a less than desirable Powerplay, yielding only 31 for the loss of both openers. Brandon King got off the mark with a guide through point, but a big heave brought a big nick.

Chandrapaul Hemraj played his signature cuts through point and then a floated drive over cover to get going, until he became another soft dismissal via a Krishmar Santokie’s slower ball.

The Golden Boy of CPL 2018, Shimron Hetmyer, entered and gave a sense of assurance as he and Shoaib Malik repaired the early damage. A struggle to 59-2 at the halfway stage, Warriors got another stall to their innings with the cleaver Obed McCoy deceiving Hetmyer with a slower-ball.

Rahkeem Cornwall of St Lucia Zouks hits a six during match two of the Hero Caribbean Premier League between Guyana Amazon Warriors and St Lucia Zouks at Guyana National Stadium on September 5, 2019 in Providence, Guyana. (Photo by Randy Brooks – CPL T20/Getty Images)

Next deliver, Nicholas Pooran had his stumps disturbed and Warriors were in deep trouble. Sherfane Rutherford wasted little time to get going, hitting consecutive boundaries off Kesrick Williams.

However, the script of losing wickets remained the same- Rutherford was stumped from a big-turning googly from Fawad Ahmed. Malik’s resistance folded when he departed in identical fashion.

In came Paul, who showed why he was named West Indies’ T20 Player-of-the-Year. His first seven balls were scoreless, but he ended up slamming 38 (3x4s, 3x6s) off 22 balls.

Green with 28 (2x4s; 1×6) from 15 balls also landed some mighty blows at the death, helping the hosts take 66 from the last five overs. Paul and Green’s partnership produced 48 off 22, and pulled the score from 98-6 in the 16th to 146-7 in the final over.

Warriors will now face St. Kitts Patriots on Saturday at Providence from 20:00h. Action continues on Friday with Trinbago Knight Riders hosting Jamaica Tallawahs at the Queen’s Park Oval from 20:00h.

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