Barbados Royals celebrate winning the 2022 Hero Caribbean Premier League – The 6IXTY Women’s first game against Trinbago Knight Riders. Photos courtesy of Photo by Randy Brooks – CPL T20/CPL T20 via Getty Images

It was a blockbuster opening day to cricket’s most exciting new tournament as all three women’s teams took to the field twice on day one at the inaugural SKYEXCH 6IXTY. It had everything – a maiden fifty, sharp run-outs, power hitting, top-class bowling performances, plus all the innovations the 6IXTY had promised.

GAME 1: Barbados Royals beat Trinbago Knight Riders by 28 runs
The opening game saw Chloe Tryon put on a big-hitting masterclass as she shone with the bat for the Barbados Royals in the first ever game of the 6IXTY.

In an innings that saw four sixes and five fours, the South African brought up her half century in just 26 balls, reaching the milestone with a four. She continued to push through the gears and followed it with huge back-to-back sixes. It took an incredible catch from her South African captain Sune Luus off the bowling of Anisa Mohammed to remove her for 63 from 29.

With eight balls to go and having not faced a ball, Henry was run out without scoring and The Royals were four down with seven balls to go and Britney Cooper looked to push to the finish line. She helped the Royals break the three-figure mark after 57 deliveries. Her cameo, alongside Alleyne, helped them reach an impressive 108/4 after 60 balls.

In response, Trinbago Knight Riders’ openers Natasha McClean and Kycia Knight looked to tee off and unlock the extra Powerplay via two sixes in the first two overs. However, McClean was cleaned up by Qiana Joseph for just 1. Kycia Knight was striking at a run a ball, including hitting Fatima Sana back over her head two balls into the ICC emerging player of the year’s over.

When Kycia was forced to leave the field due to injury, her twin sister Kyshona came out to replace her. Halfway through the chase the team were 33/1 before the bowling switched ends for the second half. They needed 76 from 30 and the first ball from this end was the fan-voted mystery ball. Kyshona capitalised on the free-hit to wallop it to the leg-side boundary. As the run-rate was beginning to get ahead of the Knight Riders, Royals’ captain Hayley Matthews took two quick wickets and the game was all-but-done. With five balls remaining there were still 40 runs required. Despite the best efforts of Geetika Kodali and Hayley Jensen finishing with a flourish, they fell 29 runs short finishing 80/3.

Stafanie Taylor (L) and Rashada Williams (R) of Guyana Amazon Warriors celebrate winning their against Barbados Royals.

GAME 2: Guyana Amazon Warriors beat Trinbago Knight Riders by 15 runs
Chamari Athapaththu started quickly as she raced to 16 from 8. She was granted a life when Kodali dropped her on 16 but it didn’t prove too costly. She was trapped lbw by Grimmond and her unsuccessful review meant she had to go. Williams and Taylor worked the ball around and hit some impressive boundaries before a stumping off Anisa saw the end of Williams for 24. With seven balls remaining the Warriors were 66/2. Taylor continued to strike big smashing the penultimate ball for a six as the Warriors took 15 runs off the final over.

The Knight Riders stated their intent from the first ball hitting an early boundary but Shamila Connell quickly claimed the wicket of Natasha McLean caught by Fraser in the deep. It was the turn of the Knight twins to re-ignite the chase. After five overs Knight Riders were 40/1 and the reintroduction of Connell broke the partnership when Kyshona Knight spooned it up to Taylor. The pressure was on as Hayley Jensen headed to the crease. She scored 22 off 12 in the earlier game and much the same was needed. She picked up where she had left off, finding the boundary to leave the Knight Riders needing 32 from 24.

Taylor had other things to say about it. A quick pick up and throw from the floor saw her run Jensen out for 5. Kycia Knight, despite an injury shortening her innings in the opening game, continued to find the boundary until she tried to go big on the leg-side off Cherry-Ann Frazer and found Chedean Nation on the boundary. Taylor continued to build the pressure bowling five dots in a row and leaving the Warriors needing 24 off the last two overs. With 18 needed off eight Sune Luus looked to didn’t get all of her shot and a glorious over the shoulder catch from Gajnabi off the bowling of Ramharack sent her packing.

The final over required 17 off the bowling of Ayabonga Khaka. She was clinical and they struggled to get her away before she castled Kodali for 3 meaning the Knight Riders had lost six wickets and their innings was over with three balls left.

GAME 3: Guyana Amazon Warriors beat Barbados Royals by 5 wickets with 12 balls remaining
The final game of Day 1 saw two teams vying to finish the opening day undefeated. The Royals showed batting brilliance in their earlier victory while the Warriors had come out on top thanks to their work with the ball and in the field. It was set to be a mouth-watering match-up, and it did not disappoint.

Warriors’ Cherry-Ann Fraser produced staggering bowling figures of 3/6 from her 12 balls as she ripped through the Royals and helped restrict them to 54 all out from just 57 balls.

It was an all-round bowling and fielding display from the Warriors with Ayabonga Khaka also bowling tight lines and building pressure. Royals lost Boyce early, bowled by Khaka for 3. She was followed quickly by Hayley Matthews for 10 before Britney Cooper, who had previously retired with a migraine, returned to the middle. She also struggled against the prowess of Fraser and was soon walking back to the dugout. Tryon again provided some resistance but fell for 24 and was the only Royals’ batter to make double figures.

The team in pink came out fighting and knew they needed early wickets if they were to be in with a chance of defending their small total. A tight opening over from Matthews leaked just three runs while some incredible fielding from Fletcher saw the back of the dangerous Athapathuhu with a direct hit. At the half-way mark the Warriors were 28/1 and looked on for making it two wins from two on day one. It was the partnership between former West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor and Rashada Williams that brought the Warriors home to win by five wickets. Taylor was again unbeaten and finished with 33. Alongside Williams’ 22 not out, it was enough to help them chase down the modest total.

The new tournament promised so much and truly delivered on the first day. Players already looked to be learning and adapting by the close of play Tomorrow the men’s tournament also kicks off and we are sure to be in for more thrills and spills in this inaugural 6IXTY.