Brilliant Narine spurs Warriors to victory
Superstar off-spinner Sunil Narine crafted a brilliant maiden ‘Super Over’ that kept Red Steel scoreless, as he led the Guyana Amazon Warriors to a dramatic win in the fifth game of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Thursday night.
With scores tied at 118 after 20 overs, Chris Barnwell swatted the first ball of the one-over eliminator from seamer Kevon Cooper over mid-wicket, to help Amazon Warriors gather 11 runs. With Red Steel requiring 12 to win, Narine beat left-hander Nicholas Pooran outside the off-stump with the first four deliveries before having him caught at long off by Martin Guptil off the fifth ball to seal the game.
Ross Taylor also swung and missed at the final delivery as Red Steel failed to score a single run, giving Amazon Warriors their second win of the tournament. The maiden was the first-ever in a Super Over in Twenty20s.
Red Steel were left with only themselves to blame as they allowed Amazon Warriors back into the match with some sloppy fielding in the last two overs. Defending a modest 118, the Red Steel bowled and fielded superbly to restrict Amazon Warriors to 91 for six after 17 overs, leaving the hosts with 28 runs to get from 18 deliveries.
Things then fell apart for Red Steel. Speedster Fidel Edwards sent down the 18th over which cost 12 runs, though he claimed the wicket of Narine for 16. In the next over by Cooper, captain Dwayne Bravo a floored a skyer off Barnwell—who top-scored with 37 from 40 balls—allowing the batsmen to scramble a precious two runs before Barnwell holed out to Kevin O’Brien at long-on off the next ball.
With 12 required from the last over sent down by Dwayne Bravo, the game was still in Red Steel’s favour and when Krishmar Santokie (3) was run out off the third ball with just three runs scored, it appeared as if Red Steel would complete victory.
But an Edwards mis-field at point handed Ronsford Beaton a boundary and two more runs into the on-side left Amazon Warriors needing three runs off the final delivery. Red Steel then squandered their chance to win the contest when Beaton skyed Bravo only for wicketkeeper Pooran to grass a sitter, as Beaton scrambled two runs to tie the game.
Earlier, Amazon Warriors needed a 44-run stand between Barnwell and Narine to stay alive, after the innings lay in disarray at 56 for six in the tenth over. The right-handed Barnwell, voted Man-of-the-Match, hit two fours and a six while Narine faced 19 balls and struck one six—a top-edged pull over mid-wicket off Edwards.
Opener Lendl Simmons had earlier scored 32 from 25 balls with three fours and a six. Leg-spinner Samuel Badree led the attack with three for 18 while Cooper (2-19) and Edwards (2-29) finished with two wickets apiece.
Sent in, Red Steel had struggled to 118 for eight off their 20 overs, with opener Evin Lewis top scoring with 39 from 51 balls and the left-handed Pooran rallying the innings with a cameo 37 from 17 deliveries.
Red Steel were tottering on 34 for four in the ninth over but Lewis and O’Brien (19) put on 30 for the fifth wicket, before Pooran and O’Brien added a further 47 for the sixth wicket.
Pooran was excellent, striking two fours and three sixes, before perishing in the deep off left-arm seamer Santokie in the penultimate over. Pacer Beaton (2-15) and Narine (2-23) picked up two wickets apiece.