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CPL Week 4: Amazon Warriors remain unbeaten but Knight Riders hold on to top spot

Fabian Allen takes a screamer, Pooran and Fletcher turn on the style, and the red card makes another appearance

Rvel Zahid
Nicholas Pooran was in smashing form in week four of the CPL  •  CPL T20 via Getty Images

Nicholas Pooran was in smashing form in week four of the CPL  •  CPL T20 via Getty Images

Another engrossing week of CPL 2023 ended on Sunday with Trinbago Knight Riders back at the top of the points table after being briefly displaced by Guyana Amazon Warriors. St Kitts & Nevis Patriots finally got a 'W' next to their name, while Amazon Warriors continued to remain unbeaten. ESPNcricinfo brings you the major events from the week gone by.

Ayub's back-to-back fifties keep Amazon Warriors unbeaten

The unassuming Saim Ayub played two vital knocks for Amazon Warriors. His 62 off 43 balls guided them to a comfortable six-wicket win over Knight Riders first. Later, in Tarouba, he blasted 58 off 35, his innings laced with six sixes and one four, for a win over Barbados Royals.
He also followed it up with a gracious gesture. Ayub was awarded Player of the Match in the game against Royals, but he passed on the award to Gudakesh Motie, who defended just five in the final over of a tense match.
It was a tricky surface in Tarouba but Ayub got used to the conditions expertly and helped put his team in pole position. Ayub has picked up form at the crucial time of the tournament and will be a lynchpin for his side in the knockouts.

A communication breakdown gives rise to beast Pooran

It started with a comical run-out where ideally Nicholas Pooran should have been the one to walk back. That wasn't the case, though.
It was the 20th game of the CPL, and Kieron Pollard tickled a Rahkeem Cornwall delivery to short fine-leg. Pooran hared down to the other end, but Pollard wasn't going anywhere. Both batters found themselves at the same end. An argument ensued followed by a fist bump as Pooran made his way back to the change room.
However, replays showed that when Cornwall broke the stumps at the non-striker's end, Pooran's foot was inside the crease before Pollard's bat-slide attempt. Pollard left, but thereon Pooran made it his mission to inflict pain on the Royals bowlers.
Pooran went on to smack a staggering 102 off 53 balls in front of a raucous home crowd. He was particularly severe on Nyeem Young in the 16th over, smashing him for a four and then three sixes before reaching his century in the final over. This was his second CPL century, both coming at his home venue.
Knight Riders plundered 89 runs in the last five overs to put up an imposing 208 for 6 in reply to which Royals could only score 166 for 7. Pooran carried his form from Port of Spain to Tarouba and slammed a blistering half-century against Jamaica Tallawahs that scripted another clinical win for the side.

Fletcher helps Patriots break the duck on one leg

Andre Fletcher pulled his hamstring but made sure he ended St Kitts & Nevis Patriots' losing streak. And in match 21 of the CPL, they finally managed to do that by getting the better of St Lucia Kings by four wickets with the win all down to Fletcher's unbeaten 93-run knock off 64 balls. He led the response with the bat after Patriots' bowlers put in a well-knit performance to restrain Kings to 149 for 7. He made his intentions clear right from the word go, walloping Sean Williams for a four and two sixes in the fourth over and never looked back.
In the 17th over, though, he needed treatment for a hamstring injury. He was struggling to run thereafter but braved through before finishing off the game in the penultimate ball of the last over with a six over deep midwicket.

A second red card and an all-run four

The red card made its second appearance in match number 23, and Cornwall had to go out with Royals only allowed two fielders outside the 30-yard circle.
Royals were behind the stipulated time before the 18th over and then missed the time limit again at the beginning of the 19th, which brought an additional fielder inside the ring. They were behind the schedule at the start of the last over too, and Cornwall had to leave.
It turned out to be a game of fine margins. Earlier, when Amazon Warriors were batting, Imran Tahir ran four runs off the last delivery of the first innings. Tahir punched a full Jason Holder ball to the left of Obed McCoy at mid-off. McCoy ran back to hunt it down but released the ball very late and sent it well off target. In that time, Tahir and Kevin Sinclair ran three more.
Those extra runs cost Royals dearly as Motie successfully defended five runs in the last over. Motie got rid of Carlos Braithwaite on the third ball of the final over and then induced an error from Justin Greaves on the last delivery to win a nerve-wracking affair.

Superman Allen plucks out a stunner

He has done this in the past but Tallawahs' Fabian Allen might have topped it all against Knight Riders. Knight Riders required 40 off 35 balls when Pollard whipped Imad Wasim to deep midwicket. Allen came haring in from the rope with the ball dying on him and, for all money, it looked like it would drop short. But Allen took some big steps and instinctively flicked out his right hand to hang on to a screamer.
That didn't cause floodgates to open as Andre Russell made light work of the 155-run chase.