King’s century blasts Guyana Amazon Warriors into 5th CPL finals

DPI, Guyana, Monday, October 7, 2019

A brilliant knock by Brandon King blasted the Guyana Amazon Warriors (GAW) in their fifth Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Finals. The hard-hitting opening batsman scored a masterclass unbeaten 132 off 72 balls; the highest individual score in CPL history to help the Warriors maintain their unbeaten streak of 11 games.

His performance placed the warriors one step closer to claiming the ever-elusive CPL title after dismantling their opponents Barbados Tridents. King, along with opening partner Chanderpaul Hemraj, came out the blocks firing and smashed the Tridents bowlers across the stadium. The dynamic duo ignited the more than 15,000 fans at the Guyana National Stadium after racing to 43 runs off the first five overs without loss.

However, Hemraj departed after being caught and bowled by Hayden Walsh, but the damage had already been done. Shimron Hetmyer soon followed losing his wicket cheaply.

Nevertheless, the onslaught continued with destructive yet classy batting from Captain Shoaib Malik and King. The pair kept the scoreboard ticking over as panic engulfed the bowling attack of the Tridents who seem to have no answer for the onslaught that was unfolding. The boundary was found at regular intervals which saw 29 runs being made off the 16th over.

Malik would depart in the penultimate over for 32 runs off a good delivery from Walsh. To top that off, Nicholas Pooran came to the crease and immediately hit two monstrous sixes. The final over did no justice for the Tridents, as the Warriors smashed the over with 16 runs, propelling the batting team to a mammoth total of 218 runs.

At the end of the innings, King tallied ten fours and 11 sixes. “I’m extremely happy. I’ve been trying to find a way to score runs in Guyana throughout the tournament and I’m just really happy that it came in such an important game and I’m grateful. I just try to score runs every time I go out there. Consistency is key. The coaches really put a lot of faith in me and they give me really good advice and I just try to go out there and perform every time. It’s key that you know your strengths and weaknesses and have the discipline to wait for your strengths to come into the game. I just tried to stick to my strengths and you’ll end up with runs,” King said.

The Tridents, in their chase, got off to a phenomenal start with Alex Hales and Johnson Charles taking the attack to the Warriors. However, chasing a total of over two hundred proved to be no easy feat.

Imran Tahir maintained his brilliant bowling performance, picking up early and crucial wickets for the Warriors. His first victims were Johnson Charles and Alex Hales who were caught and stumped respectively, mounting immediate pressure on the Tridents who had a mammoth total to chase down.

Hetmyer would then take a brilliant catch at long-off after Shakib misjudged a delivery from Malik making the Tridents even more apprehensive and placing the Warriors one step closer to booking a spot in the finals. Tridents Jean-Paul Duminy had his stumps rattled of seam bowling by Odean Smith leaving them at 92-4.

Jonathan Carter and Tridents’ Captain Jason Holder came out and played excellent cricket that would have seen them grabbing a win on any other day. They scored 49 and 29 runs respectively, but it was too little too late. The Warriors would go on to win the match by 30 runs.

Summary: Guyana Amazon Warriors 218 for 3 (King 132, Walsh 2-32) beat Barbados Tridents 188 for 8 (Carter 49, Hales 36, Shepherd 3-50) by 30 runs.