Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent @PeterDellaPenna
Guyana Amazon Warriors 180 for 4 (Hemraj 63, Pooran 61*, Rutherford 32*, Primus 2-35) beat Barbados Tridents 133 (Nurse 40, Shepherd 4-13, Shadab 2-39) by 47 runs
Guyana Amazon Warriors kept pace with Trinbago Knight Riders on the opening weekend of CPL 2019, as a fiery half-century from Nicholas Pooran helped them score 72 off the final four overs at Providence, putting a total on the board in the process that was well out of reach of Barbados Tridents. It gave them a 47-run win, which meant that Amazon Warriors ended their initial home slate with three wins from three to equal the Knight Riders on six points, while the rest of the teams remained winless.
Pooran struck 61 off 30 balls with five sixes to light up the ground. Romario Shepherd then lit up the stumps in the chase, sitting on a hat-trick at one stage in the process of taking 4 for 13 in just 2.4 overs, as Tridents were bowled out for 133 in just 16.4 overs.
A rough night for Nurse
Ashley Nurse had a rough night. Having to go solo after his legspinning wingman Sandeep Lamichhane left the field after one over due to a bad reaction from a topical cream, Nurse went wicketless for 38 runs in his four overs. But worse, he spilled Chandrapaul Hemraj on a fairly straightforward chance off a full toss spliced to extra cover on 37. It allowed the opener to sustain momentum after a pair of early setbacks.
Jason Holder had bounced out Brandon King in the second over while Shimron Hetmyer's sliced drive was intercepted by a brilliant effort diving left at backward point by USA's Hayden Walsh Jr., on as a sub for Lamichhane. Shoaib Malik was the third batsman to fall for a single-digit score when he edged Roshon Primus behind attempting to run a single to third man, and the tenth over ended on 63 for 3.
But the home side scored 117 off their last ten overs, aided in part by the platform laid by Hemraj. Nurse atoned for his error in the 16th, running back from point to claim a skier off of Raymon Reifer's bowling, but Hemraj had made 63 by that stage, and done a solid job building the foundation for Pooran and Sherfane Rutherford to launch from.
Pooran turns it on
The wicketkeeper-batsman put on a sensational hitting display in the waning overs. Rutherford had provided an appetiser with four sixes muscled over the leg side and long-off in a stretch from the 17th through the first ball of the 19th. But Pooran came on strike and provided fans with the main course to lap up when he creamed five sixes off the last eight balls of the innings. He started with a pair of flicks over long-on before working his away around to long-off and finally cover. Almost every ball was pitched on off stump, but his clever use of the crease allowed him to spray the ball at will over different parts of the boundary. The pair left the Tridents shell-shocked heading into the innings break.
Hemraj's night wasn't done after his first-innings half-century. He began the chase wiping out prized CPL recruit Alex Hales for a golden duck with a delivery that kept low and Tridents failed to get the wheels going after that. Shoaib continued to cycle through his spinners for the first eight overs as more breakthroughs followed.
Shadab Khan struck twice - Johnson Charles caught at deep midwicket and debutant Leniko Boucher at mid-off - before Jonathan Carter dragged Shoaib on defending away from his body. Holder then committed a blunder with a slow response to a drive over cover by JP Duminy, allowing Keemo Paul's relay to Chris Green to catch him short. Duminy soon dragged on to Paul as well, leaving the score 75 for 6 at the strategic time-out.
Shepherd then wiped out the tail in quick time. Nurse's aggressive counter-attack ended when he was brilliantly caught down the leg side by Pooran, who anticipated an attempted scoop to pull off a fantastic diving catch to his left. Reifer lost track of his stumps shuffling across and was bowled behind his legs first-ball to put Shepherd on a hat-trick. He ended the match in his next over. Primus flat-batted a slog to long-on before Lamichhane was yorked to send everyone home early.
Guyana Amazon Warriors
Amazon vs Tridents
Caribbean Premier League