BROOKLYN, NY – Opener Brandon King made a welcomed return to form, stroking a measured half-century to fire Guyana Amazon Warriors to a 17-run victory over St Lucia Kings in the Caribbean Premier League here Wednesday night.
The Jamaican, who had mustered only 61 runs from his previous seven innings with the highest score of 19, broke the shackles to top-score with 77 off 57 deliveries in Amazon Warriors’ total of 151 for six off their 20 overs.
Captain Nicholas Pooran chimed in with 25 off 21 balls. Still, he was the only other specialist batsman to pass 15 as left-arm seamer Wahab Riaz (2-16) and left-arm spinner Jeavor Royal (2-17) grabbed two wickets apiece to keep Amazon Warriors in check.
Tim David slammed an unbeaten 47 off 42 deliveries in reply while Roston Chase extended his excellent form with 40 off 33 balls, but Kings came up short at 134 for six off their 20 overs.
Left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie was superb, taking two for 12 in a four-over spell, while fast bowler Odean Smith snared two for 12 to peg Kings back.
“Last night (Tuesday), after losing that game [against Barbados Royals ], I couldn’t sleep. It was tough,” Pooran admitted.
“I wanted to win this game really badly, as a captain, as a leader, and as a player. We know we had three games left, and we wanted to win three, but we needed this victory tonight going into the weekend.”
Choosing to bat first, Amazon Warriors slumped to 17 for three in the fourth over courtesy of two quick Wahab strikes, but King rescued the first in a 35-run, fourth-wicket stand with Mohammad Hafeez (12) and then in a 51-run fifth-wicket partnership with Pooran.
King lashed eight fours and three sixes before perishing in the 18th over, while Pooran struck a four and a couple of sixes before departing in the 16th.
“With the batsmen, we didn’t get a perfect start either, but I must give praise to Brandon King,” Pooran said.
“He hasn’t had the best tournament so far, but tonight he showed fight, and that’s what we want to see as West Indies cricketers and teammates against a good attack.
“He stuck there and showed his class. Unfortunately, he got out in the end, but I’m thrilled he came forward and played that innings.”
Captain Faf du Plessis tried to give Kings a hasty start, striking a four and a six in 19 off 17 balls in a 29-run, the first wicket stand with Andre Fletcher (8).
But both openers, along with Samit Patel (9), fell in the space of 17 balls to leave the innings tottering on 43 for three, but David and Chase revived the innings in a 75-run, fourth-wicket stand to give Kings hope.
Both David and Chase produced identical boundary counts with four and two sixes, but when three wickets tumbled for five runs off nine balls, the run chase petered out tamely.