Amazon Warriors crush Zouks by eight wickets
Guyana Amazon Warriors 194 for 2 (Simmons 97, Guptill 66) beat St Lucia Zouks 189 for 7 (Fletcher 78, Charles 62) by eight wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
A 154-run first-wicket partnership between Martin Guptill and Lendl Simmons ensured the Guyana Amazon Warriors made easy work of the St Lucia Zouks' 189 for 7 in an eight-wicket win for the Amazon Warriors on Sunday at Warner Park in St Kitts. The total represented the highest successful chase in the two-year history of the Caribbean Premier League.
The stand between Guptill and Simmons broke the CPL first-wicket record that was set only hours earlier by Johnson Charles and Andre Fletcher, who added 139 at the start of the match after the Zouks were sent in to bat. The Zouks had a chance to nip the Simmons-Guptill partnership in the bud but Simmons was shelled by Liam Sebastien at long leg in the second over off Tino Best with the opener yet to get off the mark.
Simmons presented two more chances, on 45 and 64, with neither taken and eventually finished with 97. Guptill was caught on the boundary by Kevin Pietersen off Best for 66 in the 16th over while Simmons missed out on a century by unselfishly running himself out in the 19th over as Guyana hurried toward the target in a bid to boost their net run rate. Guyana got there with an over to spare and succeeded in jumping past the Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel into second place on net run rate with both teams at 6-3.
Finishing second would allow Guyana to avoid having to play in the initial playoff match which will be staged between the third and fourth placed teams on the CPL table. The first place side after the regular season will receive a bye to automatically advance to the championship match.
At the halfway point of the first innings, the Zouks looked primed to end the season with three straight wins thanks to the stand produced by Charles and Fletcher, who made 62 and 78 respectively. Navin Stewart came on late to bowl a crucial two-over spell which claimed both men two balls apart in the 16th over just as each batsman was setting up for a strong finish. Stewart also dismissed Kevin Pietersen in the 18th courtesy of a spectacular one-handed leaping catch by Guptill on the long-on boundary and finished with 3 for 22.
Ronsford Beaten conceded just eight runs in the 19th and three wickets fell in the 20th bowled by Krishmar Santokie to further dent St Lucia's chances of setting a target in excess of 200. Guyana's fielding and death bowling was sharper overall and by the end of the match it was the difference between the two sides, allowing the Amazon Warriors to come away with the win.