The Guyana Amazon Warriors continued their amazing run in the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League when they recorded their ninth successive win with a 77-run triumph against the Jamaica Tallawahs at the Providence Stadium in Guyana on Thursday night.
The win pushed the Warriors to 18 points on the six-team round-robin table, eight ahead of joint second-placed Barbados Tridents and St Kitts Nevis Patriots.
The Warriors, who have already made CPL history with a record nine straight wins, will be looking to make it a clean sweep of 10 matches on Friday night when they host the floundering defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) at the same venue from 8 pm.
If they achieve this feat they will also become the first team to play unbeaten in the preliminary phase of the tournament.
On Thursday night, the Warriors spinners once again bowled them to victory after their batsmen gave them a less than impressive total of just 156-6 off their 20 overs.
But talisman Warriors off-spinner Chris Green bowled Tallawahs veteran Chris Gayle for a first-ball 'duck and after that it was always an uphill climb for the visitors.
The Warriors spinners were amazing, sharing eight wickets among themselves as the Tallawahs were bowled out for just 79 runs - their lowest score in the history of the CPL. The best of the spinners was the energetic Imran Tahir, who returned three wickets for 12 runs off his four overs.
Only, Glenn Phillips and Liton Dass, who both got 21, offered any resistance to the Warriors bowlers but it could not stop the irresistible force that has been the Warriors this season.
However, the Warriors themselves had recovered from a wobbly eight for four wickets after two overs in their innings to record a fighting 156-6 off their 20 overs.
The major work was done by their captain and Man-of-the-match Shoaib Malik, who cracked an unbeaten 73 off 45 balls with two sixes and five fours.
Malik stood at the non-striker's end to witness the carnage as wicket after wicket fell in the first eight balls. Before fans could have settled into their seats, the talented quartet of Brandon King (1), Shimron Hetmyer (0), Chandrapaul Hemraj (2) and Nicolas Pooran (0) were back in the dugout as Tallawahs pacers Oshane Thomas and Derval Green ran riot in the first two overs to silence the home fans.
But Malik then forged a brilliant 82-run partnership with Shurfane Rutherford (45) to bring the Warriors back into the contest. They needed only 68 balls to add the runs and blossomed nicely after a cautious start.
Malik would end strongly as the Warriors made 156/6 to give themselves a fighting chance.
SCORES: Guyana Amazon Warriors 156-6 (20) (Shoaib Malik 73*, Shurfane Rutherford 45, Durval Green 2/23, Oshane Thomas 2/40) v Jamaica Tallawahs 79 all out (Glenn Phillips 21, Liton Das 21, Imran Tahir 3/12, Keemo Paul 2/2, Qais Ahmed 2/20)
Result: Guyana Amazon Warriors won by 77 runs.
Man-of-the-match: Shoaib Malik (GAW)