By Sean Devers
Another capacity crowd at Providence last night saw Raymon Reifer bag 5-20 as Barbados Trident beat Exxon Mobil Guyana Amazon Warriors by 30 runs in the sixth edition of Hero CPL T20 tournament to start their 2018 campaign on a winning note.
However, the Warriors still leads the points table with four points with two wins and a loss while Trinbago Knight Riders, the other team to play three matches, are on two points after suffering two defeats.
Shai Hope’s positivity was refreshing as it was entertaining as he and former Australia captain Steven Smith added 105 for third wicket and a blistering unbeaten innings from Nichols Pooran spearheaded the Tridents to their highest-ever T20 score at Providence despite the slow and low nature of the track.
Hope’s shot-filled 88 lasted 45 balls and was decorated six fours and six sixes, while Smith reached the ropes six times in his 37-ball 41 and Pooran’s 45 took only 27 balls with two fours and three sixes to rally the Tridents to 185-4.
Sherfane Rutherford, a 19-year-old left-hander from Enmore, blasted four fours and two sixes in a top-score of 48 before he became Reifer’s fifth victim in the penultimate over.
Only Skipper Shoaib Malik with 38 from 30 balls with two fours and two sixes and Shimron Hetymer who clobbered two fours and two sixes in a nine-ball 22 of the other batsmen passed 12 as the Warriors limped to 155-8 when their overs expired.
The 27-year-old Reifer wreaked havoc on a track he is very familiar with and was fittingly named Man-of-the-Match.
Warriors began their run chase needing 9.25 per over to win and they lost Chadwick Walton (6) LBW to Skipper Jason Holder at 10-1 before Hetymer dominated a 30-run stand with Luke Ronchi.
Hetymer edged Mohammad Irfan for four and pulled him for six in the third over before dispatching Holder for two fours and a six in an over which cost 16.
Reifer removed Ronchi (10) and Hetymer (22) in two deliveries with the score 40 as he and Rutherford joined forces.
Malik went after the bowling and hit two sixes and two fours before he was bowled by Ashley Nurse at 124-4.
But Rutherford blasted Holder for six and thumped Wahab Riaz for six.
With 39 to win from 12 balls Green cut Reifer for four before Reifer removed both Green (12), Jason Mohammed (0) and Rutherford in the penultimate over.
With an improbable 32 needed from the final over, Tanvir was bowed by Riaz as the Warriors fans were already leaving the venue before the final over began.
Earlier, Warriors won the toss and inserted the Tridents on another slow and low track in twilight conditions and lost Martin Guptill who was stupendously caught at mid-off by Reyad Emrit for a duck as Tanvir, who has the second best figures in CPL cricket when he captured 5-3 against Tridents last season, struck with the third ball of the contest with just a run on the board.
Dwayne Smith (6) was removed by off-spinner Green in the second over as Tridents slipped to 11-2.
But Australian Smith, banned from International cricket for his involvement in the changing of the condition of the ball with sandpaper, joined forces with Hope to orchestrate ‘operation rebuild’ with an array of lavish stroke-play.
Hope got going with a slash past cover for four off Green while Smith danced into his fellow Aussie and stroked him for four in the same over.
Hope, who laboured to get the ball away in Windies colours, hit Emrit for four and a six in the sixth over which cost 13 and by the end of the six-over power-play Tridents were 44-2 before the 50 was raised in 7.3 overs.
Smith took a couple of boundaries off Emrit in the ninth over, while Hope pounced on Imran Tahir like a cat upon a mouse and ripped him to shreds with consecutive sixes.
Hope reached his fifty from just 30 balls with four fours and five sixes in the 12th over.
The on-fire Hope launched into Tanvir in a murderous assault by hitting the left-arm pacer for 6,4,6 off the last three balls of the 13th over which leaked 20 runs; the last six bringing up the Trident’s 100 to stun the massive crowd into silence despite the energised efforts to get them going from ground Announcer Chow-Pow.
At 116 in 14th over, Smith was trapped LBW to Tahir to the relief of the colourful flag-waving crowd which once again came alive.
Pooran was dropped at point off Paul on 16 before Hope dumped Paul for six before he edged the lad from Saxcacalli to Keeper to end an entertaining knock at 155-4 in 18 overs.
Pooran deposited Paul for a trio of sixes in the last over as 55 runs came from the last few overs.
The Warriors next match will be against the Jamaica Tallawahs in Florida on Saturday.
Scores: TRIDENTS 185 for four off 20 overs (Shai Hope 88, Nicholas Pooran 45 not out, Steve Smith 41).
AMAZON WARRIORS 155 for eight off 20 overs (Sherfane Rutherford 48, Shoaib Malik 38, Shimron Hetmyer 22; Raymon Reifer 5-20).
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