That's it from me and Matt Roller tonight. Two contrasting matches today in the CPL. A dogfight in the opener where the Zouks defended a sub-100 total, then Pooran scores an unbeaten century chasing a target of 151 in the second half of the twin bill. For those of you in countries where tomorrow is a bank holiday, enjoy the day off without any CPL. Everyone else, enjoy Monday regardless! Come back Tuesday for some more CPL action as the tournament heads back to Brian Lara Academy. I'm Peter Della Penna, take care!
Amazon Warriors captain Chris Green: "Rayad spoke about it, that was a special knock. To come in two-down and get together with Ross, dig in deep and then to clear the ropes like he did there was a special innings from a special player. We probably leaked 15-20 runs more than we thought we should. But full credit to them, they batted well. I can't go past Nick. That was a special innings. Ross has had a lot of success at No. 5 and Nicholas wants to push up and play higher and that paid dividends today. Having Pooran and Hetmyer, they're two of the better players of spin in the Caribbean. Kevin Sinclair, amazing, a young kid coming in like that taking the new ball and bowling four overs straight and opening the batting today, he's got a bright future ahead of him. I'm so excited for him. He was really emotional about getting his cap and playing for this team and it really resonated through all the guys so I'm really stoked we got a win on his debut. Ashmead Nedd and Kevin Sinclair have impressed me. Two bright young players who have pushed in for our best XI now and I'm excited about what's to come."
Patriots captain Rayad Emrit: "I thought it was one of our best batting performances due to the circumstances. We missed two of our key batters but I think Joshua [Da Silva] put his hand up and that innings that he played in the middle overs was very good to see as well as Ramdin finishing it off. I thought at the halfway mark,150 we'd have been happy with that at the beginning of the innings. Pooran is special and I think it was a special innings. I don't think anyone else would have done that on that pitch. It's a difficult wicket to score runs freely and he made it look like a batting paradise. Well done to him. He just took it away from us. I still think the bowlers bowled well, but Pooran is very special."
Nicholas Pooran is the Man of the Match: "I want to thank my parents, my girlfriend and [team physio] Jason Pilgrim. He worked with me tremendously hard the last five months. I was just patient today. It's a tough tournament. Hopefully today can trigger things for my team today confidence wise. We were just trying to built a partnership and keep the required run rate under 10. For the last two years, I haven't been finishing games but I wanted to do it today when it mattered the most for our team. When I saw Ish Sodhi come back to bowl, I backed myself [for the hundred]."
5.30 pm In a tournament where nearly every innings has been a massive grind, Pooran brings up a 45-ball hundred. He highlights how dreadful the Patriots bowling has been though. Massive gulf between the leading trio of CPL legspinners (Rashid Khan, Sandeep Lamichhane, and Imran Tahir) compared to Ish Sodhi, whose lack of variety and reluctance to even attempt the googly to the left-hander has been ruthlessly exposed by Pooran. Amazon Warriors lost three wickets in the Powerplay, and then none the rest of the way in an unbroken century stand, 128 runs to be exact, between Pooran and Taylor, who basically just coasted in Pooran's slipstream.
Vishal Kunder: "I feel captain is to be blamed here pitch is spinner friendly and fast bowlers have bowled majority of overs.." Can't blame the captain for the frankly terrible lengths his bowlers have bowled. Everything is too short or too full. Mostly too full.
Pooran can end the match and bring up his 100 in one blow.
Raheel: "If patriots Lose this game they should remove emrit from captainacy. He haven't used his bowlers well. What's the logic to keep sodhi back? " If you saw Sodhi bowl just now, you'd understand why. Really subpar legspin compared to the main wicket threats on the other teams. That said, if Emrit doesn't trust him, he should be back on the bench.
For everyone who was clamoring for Sodhi to bowl, he hasn't justified the love. Compared to the likes of Rashid Khan, Lamichhane and Tahir, he looks toothless. Rashid, Lamichhane and Tahir use their googly regularly and is their main wicket-taking weapon. They're also all relatively quick through the air. Sodhi is too slow, and lacks any variety to challenge these batsmen.
Tanvir back on over the stumps.
Delay as they search for the ball. Bowling has been consistently too full to Pooran from the spinners in particular. Everything in his arc and he's shown no mercy.