Providence, September 26: Guyana Amazon Warriors completed the perfect set of home victories in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL 2022) with a comprehensive defeat of the table topping Barbados Royals.
The victory means the two teams will do it all again on Tuesday (September 27) in the first qualifier.
The Amazon Warriors won the toss and opted to field first, and that proved to be an inspired decision. On a fresh surface their seamers wreaked havoc taking three wickets inside the PowerPlay to leave the Royals in disarray.
Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals and the 125 the Royals mustered was never likely to be enough on a track that offered good value for positive stroke play.
The Royals were able to take two early wickets of their own when they had their turn to bowl restricting the Amazon Warriors to 18/2 but that was as good as it got.
Shakib Al-Hasan produced a scintillating half century to put the Amazon Warriors on the cusp of victory and the remaining batters saw the chase home to win the game inside 15 overs.
Earlier Guyana Amazon Warriors had utilised the movement on offer to unleash their cadre of seamers on the Royals.
Romario Shepherd, Keemo Paul and Odean Smith all weighed in with wickets to leave the Royals 97/9 and it was only late cameos from Ramon Simmonds and Mujeeb Ur Rahman that enabled the Royals to post 125.
Although the Amazon Warriors lost Chandrapaul Hemraj and Shai Hope in the PowerPlay, Shakib played an enterprising innings to take the drama out of the chase.
His knock of 53 came off 30 balls and laid the foundation for the Amazon Warriors to win with five over to spare.
The two sides will now do battle again in the first qualifier on Tuesday (September 27) to determine who will earn the right to go straight to the CPL final.
Brief scores: Barbados Royals: 125 all out (Holder 42, Khan 20; Shepherd 3/14, Paul 2/9) lost to Guyana Amazon Warriors: 126/5 (Shakib 53, Gurbaz 22; McCoy 2/22, Mayers 1/20) by 5 wickets.