An unbeaten 106 of controlled brutality by captain Marlon Samuels was not enough to save his Antigua Hawksbills from the ignominy of loss number eight when they went down to the Guyana Amazon Warriors by 19 runs at Warner Park, St Kitts, tonight.
Facing the daunting task of overhauling the Warriors’ massive 212 for 5 in their 20 overs, Samuels struck ten boundaries and eight sixes in his 52-ball knock as he and Orlando Peters made a bold attempt to end their losing streak. The two added 161 in 14.2 overs with Peters smashing 67 with four boundaries and five sixes in 45 balls.
But while most of the Amazon Warriors’ bowlers came in for a hammering, their trump card Sunil Narine was at his miserly best, conceding a mere 16 runs in his four overs. His spell proved decisive in stymying the brilliant efforts of Samuels and Peters.
The Hawksbills were off to a horrible start in their run chase slumping to 32 for 3 by the sixth over. Aussie Ben Dunk’s poor run continued when he was caught by wicketkeeper and captain Denesh Ramdin off the bowling of left-arm swing bowler Krishmar Santokie off the first ball of the third over for 3. Fellow opener David Hussey and Samuels took the score to 31 before Hussey was bowled by medium-pacer Navin Stewart for 13.
The Hawskbills were in further strife in the next over bowled by left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul. Danza Hyatt’s half-hearted drive was spectacularly caught one-handed by a diving Jimmy Neesham and the stocky Jamaican was back in the pavilion without scoring to leave the score at 32 for 3.
It was then that the Samuels/Peters show began with Peters following his captain’s lead in attacking the bowling with increasing relish. They were particularly severe on Ronsford Beaton whose four overs went for 48 runs. Santokie and Permaul too came under the hammer with Santokie leaking 45 runs in his four overs and Permaul being bludgeoned for 34 runs in three overs. The two lashed 66 runs off the last five overs as they threw caution to the wind but the the target would prove too steep.
The finish left the Hawksbills to rue an indifferent and indisciplined spell of bowling by Barbadian fast bowler Miguel Cummins who bowled an 11-ball seventh over that included five no-balls and went for 23 runs. Indeed Cummins had conceded 19 runs by the time he had bowled one legitimate delivery.
It was his only over.
The Amazon Warriors’ huge score came about thanks to some belligerent hitting at the top of the order from Martin Guptill who smote 90 in 51 balls inclusive of seven boundaries and six sixes. His quest for a century was ended when he was fourth out with the score on 168 in the 17th over, caught by Cummins at short third-man off medium-fast bowler Carlos Brathwaite.
The Warriors had also got off to a bad start losing Lendl Simmons for a six-ball duck in the second over bowled by Gavin Tonge. His pull shot only got as far as Sheldon Cotterrell at a short fine-leg position.
Mohammed Hafeez made eight before he was caught by Peters at square leg off Cotterrell with the score 40 for 2. Guptill was joined by Ramdin and they smashed the ball to all parts of the small Basseterre ground with all the bowlers coming in for a caning, some more severe than the others. Ramdin slammed a 34-ball 51 with five boundaries and two sixes before he offered Samuels a catch at extra cover off Tonge in the 15th over with the score bolstered by their 114-run partnership to 154 for three.
Hawskbills’ agony did not end there as allrounder Chris Barnwell replaced Ramdin and played yet another blistering cameo. He faced 20 balls and raced to 37 that included four towering sixes and one boundary before he was bowled by left-arm googly and chinaman tweaker Brad Hogg. The Aussie conceded 39 runs in his three overs while Tonge went for 46 in his four while taking two wickets. Cotterrell was the best of the bowlers with figures of 1 for 28 in his four overs.
Guptill was later named Man-Of-The-Match.