Friday 11th July 2014 – St. George’s Grenada: The 2014 Limacol Caribbean Premier League started off in emphatic style, with the Guyana Amazon Warriors beating the Antigua Hawksbills by two wickets with three balls to spare.

Guyana Amazon Warriors during the opening game of the 2014 Limacol Caribbean Premier League.

On a cool, windy afternoon in St. George’s, Grenada at the National Stadium, the Guyana Amazon Warriors won the toss and put the Hawksbills in to bat. The Antigua Hawksbills started its innings in fine style as 27-year old Aussie, Ben Dunk, commanded proceedings with various shots that included six boundaries. After five overs, the Hawksbills were steady at 33 without loss.

However, the breakthrough came through former West Indies U-19’s Fast Bowler, Ronsford Beaton, who dismissed Dunk and shifted momentum towards the Amazon Warriors. Sunil Narine came in and bowled a sensational spell of four overs, conceding only three runs with one maiden. This is tied for the most economical spell in CPL history, as last season Shoaib Malik bowled a spell of 1-3.

Danza Hyatt and fellow Jamaican, Shacaya Thomas, put on a 60 run partnership to take the Hawksbills to the 100 mark, before the Amazon Warriors turned the screw. Some tidy bowling from Krishmar Santokie and Veerasammy Permaul frustrated the Hawksbills batsmen in the middle overs as they lost four wickets for 15 runs, leaving them at 115-5, with just a few overs remaining. Despite this stagnant spell, Sheldon Cottrell and Devon Thomas helped propel Antigua to a respectable 136/8.

The Amazon Warriors got off to the worst possible start, with Sheldon Cottrell clean bowling Lendl Simmons. New Zealand opener, Martin Guptill, played a nice shot to get the score board ticking; however, he was smartly removed by Miguel Cummins, thanks to a good catch from Carlos Brathwaite. With the Amazon Warriors 8-2, there was tension around and as Denesh Ramdin came in to bat, the captain knew he had a big task on his hands. He delivered, playing a sensible knock of 51 from 36 balls, which included six fours and one six. However, with the required run-rate down to just six runs per over, they lost five wickets for only 33 runs to bring the match down to the last over, leaving Sunil Narine and Krishmar Santokie to get four runs.

Narine, cool as a cucumber, hit the third ball of the over for four to give the Amazon Warriors the first win of this season’s CPL. The Amazon Warriors now sit at the top of the table with two points and head to Guyana, to face the Red Steel, the St. Lucia Zouks and defending champions, the Jamaica Tallawahs.

Man of the Match, Denesh Ramdin, said; “I am delighted with the win and happy how we pulled things back with the ball, Sunil Narine is world class.”

The Antigua Hawksbills also head home to play the Jamaica Tallawahs, the Barbados Tridents and the Red Steel next week.

Game one brought so much excitement and with 29 matches to go, we can expect plenty more as the Limacol CPL gathers momentum.