The sport of basketball appears to be making slow but certain headway as far as staging the long-awaited National Basketball Championships is concerned.
T&T’s Denesh Ramdin and Sunil Narine were in great form in the opening match of the Caribbean Premier League T20 tournament, as they led the Guyana Amazon Warriors to a close two-wicket victory over the Antigua Hawksbills at St George’s, Grenada, yesterday. Firstly, Narine completed a brilliant spell of 4–1–3–0 to restrict the Hawksbills to 136 for eight and Ramdin then scored 51 and Narine a cool 11 not out, as the Warriors got the win at 140 for eight, with half an over to go. After Narine’s heroics with the ball, the Warriors were left with the not too difficult task of getting 137 runs in 20 overs. However, the Hawksbills made them work all the way.
They had a very good start as Lendl Simmons and Martin Guptill were both sent back with only eight runs on the board. However, Mohammad Hafeez and Ramdin batted sensibly in getting the innings back on track and after their 59-run stand for the third wicket, the game was back in the balance. Hafeez perished for 35 off 31 balls with three fours and Jimmy Neesham followed soon after for 11, but Ramdin was still there guiding the ship. However, a rush of blood led to skipper joining them in the dug out for 51 off 36 balls with six fours and a six. At Ramdin’s fall, the Hawksbills smelt blood and Australian Ben Laughlin made a double strike to leave the Warriors wobbly at 112 for seven. At this point Narine and Veerasammy Permaul took over with the latter striking 15 off ten balls to bring the game to within reach. Just before the end, he fell and Narine and Krishmar Santokie were left to get four runs off the last over, which they got.
Earlier, Hawksbills failed to close off their innings well and was restricted to just 136 for eight off their 20 overs. At the start of over number 15 the innings was nicely poised at 103 for two. An estimated score of 150 was on the tins but Narine produced the most economical spell in CPL T20 cricket to restrict them. The mohawk-hair styled spinner conceded just three runs from his four overs and although he did not take a wicket, he created the pressure for wickets to tumble at the other end. He got the ball to grip on the turf and the batsmen were unable to pick the knuckle ball, which he produced time after time. Twenty one of the 24 balls he sent down were not scored off. Australian import Ben Dunk had gotten the Hawksbills off to a flying start. He smashed 38 off 21 balls, inclusive of five fours and two sixes. Together with Shacoya Thomas, they put on 40 for first wicket in 5.2 overs. The Queenslander was removed at this score and Jamaican Danza Hyatt came in and continued in his mode. Thomas left for 20 off 32 balls but Hyatt continued to gather runs at ease. He was unlucky to get run out for 36 off 33 balls (three fours and a six) and when his skipper Marlon Samuels looked up on the giant screen and saw those three dreaded red letters OUT, the innings was left in tatters.
New Zealander Neesham ended with 3/33.
B Dunk c Hafeez b Beaton 38
S Thomas c Hafeez b Permaul 20
D Hyatt run out 36
M Samuels run out 4
D Hussey c Santokie b Neesham 10
D Thomas c Santokie b Neesham 10
S Cottrell run out Ramdin 5
C Brathwaite c Ramdin b Neesham 0
J Athanaze c Santokie b Neesham 0
M Cummins not out 0
Extras w7 7
Total for 8 wkts 20ovs 136
Fall of wkts: 40, 100, 103, 108, 115, 136, 136, 136.
Bowling: K Santokie 4-0-34-0, M Hafeez 2-0-21-0, S Narine 4-1-3-0, R Beaton 2-0-21-1 (4w), V Permaul 4-0-24-1 (1w), J Neesham 4-0-33-3.
L Simmons b Cottrell 0
M Guptill c Brathwaite b Cummins 4
M Hafeez c Thomas b Samuels 35
D Ramdin b Brathwaite 51
J Neesham c Brathwaite b Cottrell 11
C Barnwell c Hyatt b Laughlin 5
N Stewart c Hyatt b Laughlin 1
S Narine not out 11
V Permaul c Hyatt b Cottrell 15
K Santokie not out 0
Extras lb1, w6 7
Total 8 wkts 19.3ovs 140
Fall of wkts: 0, 8, 67, 100, 110, 112, 112, 133.
Bowling: S Cottrell 4-0-24-3 (2w), M Cummins 4-0-24-1 (3w), C Brathwaite 2.3-0-24-1 (1w), B Laughlin 4-0-27-2, J Athanaze 2-0-20-0, M Samuels 3-0-20-1.
Result: Guyana Amazon Warriors won by 2 wkts.
Man of the match: Denesh Ramdin.
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