Leads Warriors to emphatic 8-wkt win
By Sean Devers
The atmosphere at the Hero CPL T20 Cricket at Providence on Saturday night was absolutely fantastic as the capacity crowd, many of them dressed in ‘Hetty’ T-shirts and producing a kaleidoscope of colour in the Stands, waved Guyana and Warriors flags and danced all night to pulsating music from the Sound System and rhythm of Tassa drummers.
And they were not disappointed as 22-year-old Shimron Hetymer’s unbeaten 47 ball 70 led the Guyana Amazon Warriors to an emphatic 8-wicket win with seven balls to spare against the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots.
The South American Franchise reached 159-2 from 18.5 over chasing the 153-8 in 20 overs made by the Patriots to leave the sold out crowd with smiles on their faces as broad as the Essequibo River which is 29 miles at its widest point.
It is said that when night falls, the stars come out to shine but on a night when the dew made gripping the ball a difficult task, the main star present at Providence was Hetmyer, the Play-of-the-Match for the fourth time in CPL cricket.
The Patriots, led by Devon Thomas’ highest CPL score of 62 from 49 balls and a cameo 33 from 19 balls from Fabian Allen reached 153-8 as leg-spinner Shadab Khan took 2-20 to follow-up his 3-16 from the last game.
Off-spinner Chris Green was miserly with 1-18 from his four overs opening the bowling, while Romario Shepherd was again the Warriors best pacer with 1-26 from his four.
Guyana were led to their second win by Hetymer’s third CPL half-century and entertaining knocks of 39 from 24 balls from Chanderpaul Hemraj, 27 from 22 balls from Brandon King and an undefeated 23 from 20 balls from Skipper Shoib Malik.
The 26-year-old Hemraj and Jamaican King, 24, had posted 55 in the six Power-Play overs and 63 for the first wicket, while Hetmyer and Malik finished off the contest on a slow track and lightning fast outfield with an unbroken 64-run third wicket partnership.
The hallmark of Hetymer’s innings on Monday night as opposed to his 26-ball 24 against the Zouks, was his positive intent and responsibly shot selection.
And batting with a man who has played the most t20 matches in world was a great advantage for Hetmyer who has already scored four ODI hundred to add to his CPL and Regional Super50 tons scored last year.
Every time Hetmyer played an impetuous shot Malik came down the pitch to talk to him.
When the Warriors began their reply King stroked the first ball of the chase back past the ankles of Sheldon Cottrell for four.
Hemraj clipped Cottrell off his legs and upper cut him over point for boundaries to set the tone of the partnership.
The left-handed Hemraj pulled Allen, who opened the bowling, for six and opened the face of the bat to lift Mohamed Hafiz over cover for four before backing away to give himself room and smashing Hafiz like a scud missile to the point boundary.
A long-hop from Usama Amir was pulled viciously to the mid-wicket ropes by King before Hemraj danced into the spinner and deposited him for a couple a big sixes and the raucous fans blew horns and danced in the stands.
Hemraj miss hit Carlos Brathwaite just short of Jason Mohamed and the ball went for four before Hemraj’s bullet-like cut was stupendously taken at point by Allen, diving to his right with the score on 63-1.
The demise of Hemraj started the Hetymer show with the Young Warriors Cricket Club’s only Test player pulling his former West Indies U-19 team mate, the genuinely quick Alzarri Joseph, for four.
Hetmyer charged Braithwaite and top edged a hook which went over the Keeper’s head for four before pivoting in true West Indian style and pulling the Bajan for another boundary.
King cut Cottrell to backward point where Amir floored the offering but the Jamaican Solider, built like a heavyweight Boxer, had the last laugh when King repeated the shot and Amir held on with the score on 95-2.
Hetymer was on fire and so were his fans and he hit Rayed Emrit on the up over cover for six, the runs were flowing like the Potaro River flows into the Kaieteur falls, the highest single drop waterfall in World.
A flurry of audacious boundaries saw Hetmyer gallop to his fifty from 35 balls with seven fours and a six while Malik, playing with his usual elegance, stroked Cottrell to the cover boundary, while Hetmyer lofted Cottrell for six to post the second fifty-stand of the innings.
With the scores level, Hetmyer hit Emrit for six to put an exclamation mark on the victory.
Earlier, the Patriots lacked intensity during the Power-Play and although Kjorn Ottley was bowled by a Keemo Paul ‘no ball’ it did not hurt the Warriors as he was dismissed for 15.
Thomas’ second CPL fifty and a late order rally from Allen and a six and four by Joseph off the expensive Ben Laughlin ensured the Patriots scored 62 in their last five overs.
The target however, proved inadequate as the Warriors maintained their unbeaten record against the Patriots at Providence.
After the contest Malik said he felt as if he was in Pakistan and thanked the packed crowd for their support.
“We got a good start but the openers need to finish the game when they are set. If we win the home games it goes a long way in pushing for the title,” said 37-year-old Malik.
Hetymer was predictably adjudged Play-of-Match, after winning that award two times last year when he scored the third most runs and became the only Guyanese to score a CPL century with a 41-ball 100 against the Tallawahs.
Hetymer, who struggled with his shot selection in the Test series against India, informed that he was working very hard in the nets on his batting.
“Although a few balls ‘stopped’ I think it was a good pitch to bat on,” said Hetmyer.
Leg-spinner Imran Tahir will replace Khan in the Warriors team after yesterday’s match against Barbados Pride.
Scores: PATRIOTS 153 for eight off 20 overs (Devon Thomas 62, Fabian Allen 33 not out; Shadab Khan 2-20, Ben Laughlin 2-43).
AMAZON WARRIORS 159 for two off 18.5 overs (Shimron Hetmyer 70 not out, Chandrapaul Hemraj 33, Brandon King 27, Shoaib Malik 23 not out).
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