CPL 2021: King, Motie star as Warriors move into semi-final spots
Guyana Amazon Warriors 151/6 (King 77, Pooran 25; Wahab 2/16, Royal 2/17) Saint Lucia Kings 134/6 (David 47*, Chase 40; Motie 2/12, Smith 2/12) by 17 runs
Brandon King may have top-scored in the first innings with 77 and Gudakesh Motie may have walked away with Player-of-the-Match honours for his new ball spell of 2 for 12 in four overs to begin the chase, but it was truly the medium pace death bowling heroics of Naveen-ul-Haq, Romario Shepherd and Odean Smith that helped Guyana Amazon Warriors snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in a stunning 17-run win over St Lucia Kings at Warner Park on Wednesday night.
With the score at 89 for 3 after 12 overs and the well-set pair of Roston Chase and Tim David together in the middle, Kings only needed a very manageable 63 runs off the last 48 balls. But Kings went the next 44 balls without hitting a boundary as Naveen’s canny offspeed variations left Kings batters flummoxed down the stretch.
By the time David broke the streak with a six in the final over off Naveen, Kings needed 18 off the last three balls just to force a Super Over. But he managed just a single over the final trio of balls sent down by Naveen, who ended with 1 for 25 bowling his unbroken spell starting in the 14th over through to the finish.
Warriors dug themselves a massive hole after batting first, slipping to 17 for 3 in four overs. But King gave Warriors a fighting chance on a wicket which produced variable bounce particularly to spin bowlers as both sides lost wickets to balls sticking in the pitch that sparked leading edges into catches in the ring.
King struck eight fours and three sixes in his knock before he fell with 13 balls to go, sending a catch to deep midwicket.
Motie produced a wicket-maiden in the fifth over of the chase, getting Faf du Plessis to spoon one back that gripped and held up in the pitch. Imran Tahir’s googly found a gap in Andre Fletcher’s technique in the next over before Motie struck again in the seventh to end his opening spell, bowling Samit Patel with one that skidded on rather than gripping and turning like the majority of his other deliveries.
Still, Chase and David navigated through a 75-run fourth-wicket partnership in which Kings looked like comfortable favourites, albeit aided by some sloppy Warriors fielding as both Chase and David were dropped – the latter on three occasions – along the way.
But the lack of boundaries eventually caught up with Kings. From needing 80 off 60 balls, to 45 off 30, to suddenly 30 off 12, momentum turned Warriors way.
Chase fell in the 18th to Naveen, giving a catch to cover, before Smith drilled two more holes in the coffin by nabbing Keemo Paul and Jeavor Royal on back-to-back balls in a three-run 19th. That left Naveen with 26 to defend off the final over, a task he completed with aplomb. (ESPNcricinfo)