Ever since he arrived on the scene Nicolas Pooran was touted as a game-changer and he proved just that last evening taking an almost dead and buried Guyana Amazon Warriors breathing life into them and their Caribbean Premier League (CPL) campaigned when he stroked a brilliant unbeaten 100 which took them to glory over the St. Kitts/Nevis Patriots at the Queen's Park Oval in Port-of-Spain on Sunday.
SCORES: St. Kitts/Nevis Patriots 150/5 (20) versus Guyana Amazon Warriors 153/3 (17.3) - Warriors won by 7 wickets. Warriors have now won three of their seven matches.
Walking in with his side limping at 24/2 in the 6th over Pooran proceeded to manhandle the Patriots bowling attack and throw them out of the knockout stages of the tournament handing them their 6th loss in seven matches. Poised on 82 not out and with 15 runs needed to win, the Couva resident struck three successive sixes off New Zealand Ish Sodhi to record his maiden CPL century.
The 24-year-old left-batting talent, found the perfect ally in New Zealander Ross Taylor and they made batting look easy on an improved pitch compared to the ones we have seen earlier in the week at the Oval.
Pooran was devastating and within turned the game in the 11th over bowled by Imran Khan in which he slammed him for two sixes in getting 18 runs.
After that, no one was spared as he climbed into poor deliveries and struck them high into the vacant stands at the Oval. Taylor with all the experience in the world gave him the strike and the duo added an unbroken 128 off 11.5 overs to win the match.
His unbeaten 100 the first century of this year's tournament came off just 45 balls and included 10 sixes and four fours. Taylor who had the best seat to view the innings was unbeaten on 25 off 27 balls.
Earlier, it was two other local boys in the form of Joshua Da Silva and Denesh Ramdin who starred when the Patriots batted as they scored 150/5 after initially struggling.
Da Silva got his highest ever T20 score in reaching 59 off 46 balls with two sixes and five fours. Ramdin also looked good in getting 37 not out off 30 balls. Da Silva constructed his innings nicely and after he got the pace and bounce of the track, he tore into the Guyana bowling.
Speaking after his feat he said: "I want to thank my parents, my girlfriend and [team physio] Jason Pilgrim. He worked with me tremendously hard in the last five months." Looking back at the knock he said: "I was just patient today. It's a tough tournament and hopefully, today can trigger things for my team confidence-wise. We were just trying to build a partnership and keep the required run-rate under 10. For the last two years, I haven't been finishing games but I wanted to do it today when it mattered the most for our team. When I saw Ish Sodhi come back to bowl, I backed myself [for the hundred]."
SCORES: St. Kitts/Nevis Patriots 150/5 (20) (Joshua Da Silva 59, Denesh Ramdin 37no, Chris Green 2/31) vs Guyana Amazon Warriors 153/3 (17.3) (Nicolas Pooran 100no, Ross Taylor 25no, Jon Russ Jaggessar 2/33) - Warriors won by 7 wkts.