Guyana Warriors captain Chris Green hailed the contributions from different team members as they booked their semi-final spot with a seven-wicket triumph over the St Lucia Zouks Wednesday night at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy.
A solid bowling performance limited the Zouks to 109-7, then Guyanese power-hitter Shimron Hetmyer fired the Warriors home with an unbeaten 56 for a comfortable victory over Daren Sammy’s Zouks who were already assured a spot in the final four of this year’s Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
“(It was) another solid bowling performance. We have been really consistent with the ball, mixing it up with both seam and spin, putting our hands up at different times and that’s been real impressive for me. It’s been different guys, it has not been one or two bowlers, different guys every game,” Green said. “The guys that have come in and out of the team. They have really put their hand up, taken the challenge up to bowl up front, through the middle and the back. I think it has put us in a good position to be successful.”
Green added his squad is also finally coming good with the bat after an inconsistent start to the tournament, establishing and building, and with more of their top order batting deep into the innings.
“That has been our key recipe for success. Our top batters are putting their hand up and getting the job done for us. It‘s different guys each game so that’s really happy for me,” said Green.
He praised Hetmyer for his return to form after a string of poor scores.
“‘Hetty’ hasn’t really failed. He has started the tourney well. He never really got in after that, he got out early and he sets a real high bar for himself, always wanting to get better, always wanting to contribute to this team,” Green assessed, “Tonight, he stood up and had given us that performance. We have also ticked that little box of qualifying but it’s not over yet. We have got to continue to build into tomorrow (today). We have got Barbados and we have got an opportunity to knock them out of the competition, then we put our eyes onto where we play on Tuesday.”
Sammy said his players failed to evaluate the conditions effectively when they batted, losing three wickets in the power play for a modest total of 27.
Asked about his opinion on why the batting from all teams throughout the tournament has been inconsistent, Sammy said: “Most of the guys have not been playing for a while. To come here on difficult tracks, to adjust as quickly as possible has proven difficult but you can’t not question the way we have managed to play spin. That’s a thing that has affected us at the top and at the highest level as well. A lot of dot ball percentage has been registered as well in this tournament. I would say again, guys have been on a lay-off. You look at guys who have been scoring runs, like a Nicholas Pooran, it’s guys who have been accustomed of playing on the spin wickets like in Trinidad and Guyana. With that said, we have got to dig deeper and come up with a way to play.”
In terms of his own batting, Sammy is counting on himself to come good at the right time.
“My team is in a very good position. Mentally, I am still sound and I think my team is still depending on me for a performance. We still got two games to go,” Sammy explained. “We have already qualified for the play-offs, which was our first objective, and I believe in myself...I won’t let this string of poor performances question my belief or my ability...another day, another opportunity, so that other day comes next week.”
St Lucia Zouks 109/7 in 20 overs (Javelle Glen 23*, Rakheem Cornwall 21, Najibullah Zadran 19; Naveen Ul-Haq 2/24, Keemo Paul 2/25, Imran Tahir 1/10, Romario Shepherd 1/11)
Guyana Amazon Warriors 110/3 in 13.5 overs (Shimron Hetmyer 56*, Chandrapaul Hemraj 26; Javelle Glen 1/9, Scott Kuggeleijn 1/17, Mohammad Nabi 1/23)
—Warriors won by seven wickets