It was all hands on deck for Barbados Royals, who produced a team effort in the truest sense of the word to upend Guyana Amazon Warriors by 45 runs for just their second win of the season but one that keeps their 2021 CPL playoff hopes alive.
Entering the match with just 13 runs in four innings, Kyle Mayers was recalled into the XI after sitting out the last two matches and promoted to open for the first time this season. It paid off handsomely with a rollicking 36 off 20 balls to set the tone as Johnson Charles and Glenn Phillips followed his lead 40 and 44 respectively in a total of 185 for 8 – bettering their previous season-high by 24 runs – that was well out of reach in a tame Warriors chase.
Mayers faced all but four balls in the first four overs, scoring all but six of the first 42 runs, as he feasted on the spin offered up by Chandrapaul Hemraj and Kevin Sinclair to belt four fours across the first three overs. Mayers laid into Romario Shepherd in the fourth as well, heaving him over the leg side rope twice for six before falling to a slower ball chipped to mid-off to end the fourth over.
But by that stage Mayers had provided the aggressive impetus for the rest of the batting order to follow. In near identical fashion to Mayers, Charles dominated a 46-run second-wicket partnership with Azam Khan in which the latter scored just four runs. Charles was particularly vicious to Odean Smith on the pull, and then later Gudakesh Motie’s spin by sweeping him repeatedly through the leg side. Another attempted sweep to Mohammad Hafeez produced a top edge for a catch.
After Azam Khan fell in the next over to a missed sweep against Imran Tahir, the baton was handed to Phillips who teed off on Tahir for three sixes over the leg side rope in the 10th and 12th before coasting the rest of the way to top score with 44.
In reply, Warriors lost three of the top four in the Powerplay – Brandon King edging Mohammad Amir behind, Hemraj toe-slapping a gentle return catch to Jason Holder and Shimron Hetmyer mistiming a Raymon Reifer offcutter to midwicket – while Hafeez crawled along at just over a run a ball coming in at No. 3 to put Warriors further behind the eight-ball.
By the time Hafeez was stumped off a leg-side wide to spark the mid-innings drinks break, Warriors were halfway gone with the required run rate above 10 per over. Some lusty hitting late from Odean Smith brought back some respectability to the final margin but the Warriors never seriously threatened to chase down the target before Smith was last man out at deep midwicket for 43 to cap Nyeem Young’s 3 for 24. (ESPNcricinfo)