An unbeaten 94 from Johnson Charles at a venue where a stand has been named in his honour helped St Lucia Zouks record their third successive win at home and surge to No. 3 in the CPL 2016 points table at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium Sunday.
Charles’ unbeaten second-wicket stand of 151 with Shane Watson helped Zouks chase down Guyana Amazon Warriors’ 159 for 5 with 23 balls to spare. Despite the deflating loss, Warriors, currently No. 2 with five wins in eight matches, were well placed to secure a berth in the top four.
Jerome Taylor struck in the fourth over to dismiss Nic Maddinson after Darren Sammy, the Zouks captain, had chosen to field. But any semblance of control they may have had over proceedings soon disappeared as Dwayne Smith and Chris Lynn sent them on a leather hunt. The pair brought up a century stand for the second wicket before Sammy dismissed Smith. At that stage, Warriors were 113 for 2 in 15.3 overs, with Smith’s measured 51-ball 56 containing five fours and two sixes.
Four of Lynn’s six sixes in his 45-ball 86 came following Smith’s dismissal. But quick strikes at the other end helped Zouks go into the break with momentum on their side. Watson was largely responsible for that, finishing with 2 for 27 in four overs.
Sohail Tanvir gave Warriors a near-perfect start with the ball when he clean bowled Andre Fletcher in the third over. But it didn’t seem to have any effect on Watson as he crashed two boundaries off his first three deliveries to kick-start Zouks’ chase. At 33 for 1 in five overs, the match was on an even keel, before Zouks broke away courtesy an 19-run over from Orlando Peters, the medium pacer, with Charles hitting two sixes and a four.
Comfortably placed at 91 for 1 at the halfway mark, Zouks needed just 37 more deliveries to complete the victory. Charles sealed the win with a boundary off Adam Zampa, the legspinner, as Zouks recorded their fourth win in seven matches.