The Guyana Amazon Warriors overwhelmed the Barbados Tridents by 12 runs on the Duckworth/Lewis method to cruise into the Caribbean Premier League playoffs at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on Sunday night.
Asked to get to 97, or 24 more runs off 20 balls, after rain stopped play for over an hour as they were romping to their earlier regulation target of 139, the Warriors got to 81-2 before the rains came again, forcing the umpires to abandon the rest of the match.
Brandon King had just completed his second half-century this tournament, a 34-ball knock laced with five fours and three sixes before the match was ended by the bad weather all day brought on by Tropical Storm Karen.
The result moved the unbeaten Warriors to an unassailable 12 points from six matches, three more than the second-placed Trinbago Knight Riders (9 pts) and four better than the St Kitts Nevis Patriots (8 pts). More importantly, the ensured none of the other teams, including the bottom-ranked Tridents (4 pts), St Lucia Zouks (3 pts) and the Jamaica Tallawahs (2 pts), could deny the Warriors of a spot in the playoffs.
However, the result was never in question after the Warriors spinners, led by off-break specialist Chris Green, routed the home side to set up an easy total to chase.
Green bagged a season-best tally of four wickets for 14 runs off 3.2 overs as Warriors skipper Shoaib Malik used predominantly spin and rotated his bowlers regularly to keep the Tridents batsmen unsettled in their innings.
However, it was the medium-pacers who got the early breakthroughs for the visitors. Keemo Paul, after giving away 13 runs in four legal deliveries and a no-ball in the first over of the match, finally got it right in his fifth ball and got the dangerous Johnson Charles (11) to hole out to Imran Tahir at third man.
Romario Shepherd then got Justin Greaves, who marked his debut in the previous match with a half-century, to top-edge an attempted pull shot to Shane Rutherford at extra cover to be out for 11 as the home side slumped to 32-2.
Alex Hales and JP Duminy then shared in a 31-run partnership to bring a slight reprieve before veteran leg-break bowler Tahir came on and delivered a double strike in the seventh over. He removed Hales, whose slog sweep found Shimron Hetmyer on the deep mid-wicket boundary off his first ball, then trapped Jonathan Carter plumb lbw for a duck as the Tridents tottered to 64-4.
Malik did not let up either, bringing himself on to remove his opposite number Jason Holder (2), after he came down the wicket and attempted a lofted drive he could not control and offered an easy catch to Green at long-on as Tridents were in further trouble at 83-5.
And after medium-pacer Odean Smith removed Leniko Boucher for eight in the 13th over, it was all Green’s show. He returned in the 16th over and was immediately successful with the wicket of Ashley Nurse. Outfoxed by the previous two deliveries, Nurse went for a reverse sweep the next ball and missed. However, his back foot slid out the crease in the process, leaving wicket-keeper Nicholas Pooran with the opportunity to remove his bails after making a clean gather as the home side crashed to 115-7.
Green was not done though. In his next over, he got Tridents top-scorer Duminy to hole out to Shane Rutherford at deep square-leg for a 32-ball 38, before getting a double strike in the final over with the wickets of Raymon Reifer (11), also caught by Rutherford at deep mid-wicket, and Sandeep Lamichhane caught and bowled for no score.
In their turn at the crease, openers King and Chandrapaul Hemraj went after the Tridents bowling in the Power Play overs. They raced to a 61-run partnership in seven overs before Hemraj was outfoxed by a Sandeep Lamichhane googly and was out caught and bowled for a well-played 20.
In to bat next, Hetmyer (2) did not last long as he went for a big slog-sweep off Duminy and succeeded only in skying the ball high into the air where Duminy himself took the catch.
Malik then joined King and the victory target was well in their sights before the rains came not once, with them well ahead of the DL par scare anyway, but twice. However, the rains did not change the expected outcome.
BARBADOS TRIDENTS 138 all out (19.2) (JP Duminy 38, Alex Hales 24, Chris Green 4/14, Imran Tahir 2/22) v GUYANA AMAZON WARRIORS 81-2 (11) (Brandon King 51, Chandrapaul Hemraj 20, JP Duminy 1/16, Sandeep Lamichhane 1/22)
Result: GUYANA AMAZON WARRIORS WON BY 12 RUNS DL METHOD
Man-of-the-match: Chris Green (GAW)