The Guyana Amazon Warriors found themselves on the winning side of the shore as they beat Barbados Royals by three runs in a closely fought run chase. Earlier, the Warriors won the toss and elected to bat first.
Jimbo makes early inroads
Rahkeem Cornwall is the first Royals bowler to strike, as he got rid of Gudakesh Motie. The Warriors batter smacked Jimbo for a six on the second delivery of the second over, but on the next ball, his attempt to sweep the shot failed, and it took a thick edge to Obed McCoy at short fine leg. What goes around comes around.
Double strike in middle overs
Carlos Brathwaite and Obed McCoy derailed the 98-plus run partnership that revitalised Guyana Amazon Warriors’ score from 9/1, with quick wickets in the 12th and 13th over. Brathwaite, for starters, claimed the wicket of half-centurion Saim Ayub (58) in a soft caught-and-bowled dismissal and in the next over, McCoy got Azam Khan out for a four-ball duck after the former’s delivery took a thick edge and flew towards Justin Greaves at deep square.
Braithwaite’s triple raid
Carlos Brathwaite, REMEMBER THE NAME! Ricky took the ball for the 19th over and came in hard, taking down Shimron Hetmyer (24), Romario Shepherd (2) and Odean Smith (0) while conceding just eight balls. The Barbados-born all-rounder ended his spell with match-defining figures of 4/27.
Holder’s two-wicket assault and 182 to chase
Taking a cue from Carlos Brathwaite, Jason Holder brought the curtains down to the first innings of GAW with the wickets of Dwaine Pretorius (0) and Keemo Paul (23) in the final over. The Warriors - aided by the half-centuries of Saim Ayub and Shai Hope (50) - would finish with a score of 181/9 in their allotted 20 overs.
Evans-Athanaze get Royals chase on track
Having lost Rahkeem Cornwall (8) and Kyle Mayers (16) early on, the Royals rode the budding partnership between Laurie Evans and Alick Athanaze to get the run chase back on track.
The duo would go on to add 60 runs for the third wicket, with Evans firing 33 runs off 18 balls in that partnership. The former’s contribution included a boundary four or six in every over between overs 8-11.
Athanaze, on the other hand, hit 23 off 20 balls in the third-wicket stand and would see his cameo end in the 13th over at the hands of Keemo Paul off Romario Shepherd.
An eventful 17th over
The Romario Shepherd vs Rovman Powell battle in the 17th over was one of the turning points in the game. With the Royals needing 49 runs in the final four overs, Shepherd gave away two wides in his first three deliveries. Powell (39 in 19 balls) would ride on that chance and blast away a boundary and two maximums before getting himself run out by a direct throw from Junior Sinclair.
So close, yet so far
With six runs required off the last six balls, Gudakesh Motie kept things tight and difficult for the Royals’ batters. With the wickets of Carlos Brathwaite (12) and a confident Justin Greaves (16) off the final ball, Motie had the last laugh as GAW registered their fifth victory of the campaign.
Still currently fourth on the points table, the Royals’ chances of qualification depend on the results of Jamaica Tallawahs and Rovman Powell and Co. winning their final league game next weekend - against Guyana in Guyana.