Shimron Hetmyer’s rapid half-century backed up the good work of the bowlers as Guyana Amazon Warriors beat St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in their opening game.
Trinbago Knight Riders, the defending champions, set the ball rolling in the Caribbean Premier League 2018 with a 100-run win over St Lucia Stars in the first game, and Guyana joined them at the top of the table by beating the Patriots by six wickets in the second match on Thursday, 9 August.
It was a pretty straightforward win for Guyana, with the chase completed with 21 balls in hand. Asked to bat first, the Patriots scored 146/5, Chris Gayle scoring more than half those runs with 86 in 65 balls. But Guyana had their own big-hitter in charge, Shimron Hetmyer smashing an unbeaten 79 to take them to 148/4.
Gayle has been in decent touch in the lead-up to the CPL, scoring 40, 29 and 73 in the one-day international series against Bangladesh at home in July.
He carried that form into the Patriots’ opening game, starting the Patriots innings with a glance for four off Sohail Tanvir, but the innings slowed down after that. Evin Lewis was dismissed cheaply, and though Gayle found the boundary a couple more times, the Patriots only got to 32/1 after the Powerplay.
That might well have taken he game away from them, because though Gayle sped up as the innings progressed, there was never any real impetus. Gayle batted till the penultimate over before falling to Imran Tahir, but the next highest contribution was 15, hit by the Australia duo of Tom Cooper and Ben Cutting.
Keemo Paul was the standout Guyana bowler, returning 2/16.
The Guyana chase didn’t start too well, Sheldon Cottrell (2/21) and Sandeep Lamichhane (2/12) taking out Luke Ronchi and Chadwick Walton respectively, and though Shoaib Malik, the captain, and Jason Mohammed didn’t score too many either, Hetmyer had the chase under control.
Chris Green, the Australian all-rounder, gave him good support with an unbeaten 25 off 23 balls, and Hatmyer blazed away. His run against Bangladesh – 86 and 18 in the second Test and 52, 125 and 30 in the ODIs – continued as he hit nine fours and four sixes to take Guyana home with lots to spare.