CRICKET-CPL-LEAD Red-hot Amazon Warriors beat Royals to finish strongly

Shakib-al-Hasan gathers runs during his half-century against Barbados Royals on Sunday. (Photo courtesy Getty/CPL)

GEORGETOWN, Guyana– Guyana Amazon Warriors scored a morale-boosting win ahead of the playoffs when they brushed aside leaders Barbados Royals by five wickets in the final group stage game of the Caribbean Premier League here Sunday night.

The hosts limited the high-flying Royals to 125 in the 18th over, fast bowler Romario Shepherd snatching three for 14 to undermine the innings and all-rounder Jason Holder top-scoring with 42 from 39 balls to help get his side past the 100-run mark.

In reply, Amazon Warriors got a top score of 53 from Man-of-the-Match Shakib-al-Hasan as they overhauled their target in the 15th over to post their fifth win and fourth on the bounce and end in the second spot on 11 points.

Amazon Warriors will now face Royals again on Tuesday in the first qualifier at the Guyana National Stadium at 10 am, the winner booking their place in Friday’s final at the same venue.

Tuesday’s second game at 7 pm will see the third and fourth-placed teams, St Lucia Kings and Jamaica Tallawahs, clash in the first eliminator.

Inserted, Royals lost left-hander Kyle Mayers without scoring to the fourth delivery of the game with only a run on the board, and then also saw seamer Keemo Paul (2-9) knock over both Rahkeem Cornwall (2) and Harry Tector (5) in the second over, to leave the innings tottering on eight for three.

Holder arrived to blast four and three sixes to inspire the best stand of the innings – a 51-run, fourth-wicket partnership with Azam Khan, who made 20 from 24 balls – before Royals lost six wickets for 38 runs.

Mujeeb-ur-Rahman (15) and Ramon Simmonds (13 not out) scampered 28 for the last wicket to gather precious runs at the end.

Facing a straightforward run chase, Amazon Warriors stumbled early on when Chandrapaul Hemraj (0) and Shai Hope (16) perished cheaply with 18 runs on the board.

However, left-hander Shakib lashed five fours and three sixes in a 30-ball knock to inspire a 79-run, third-wicket partnership with Afghan right-hander Rahmanullah Gurbaz (22), which laid the foundation for victory.


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