The St Lucia Kings booked their spot in the 2023 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Playoffs last night after they strolled to a seven-wicket win over the Guyana Amazon Warriors at Providence Stadium.
Coming off the back of a similar seven-wicket win over the Jamaica Tallawahs last Wednesday, Guyana Amazon Warriors won the toss and chose to bat first at their home ground. The hosts set a below par total of 167-5 which the St Lucia Kings gleefully knocked off with 15 balls to spare, ending on 170-3.
It wasn’t the best of starts for the Warriors as opener Matthew Nandu batted eleven balls for just three runs. Matters were made worse when the leading run scorer in the competition Saim Ayub (304 runs) failed to capitalise on his start, falling for just 16 runs. The ever reliable Shai Hope (38) and wicketkeeper batsman Azam Khan (40) helped to get the Warriors on their way before some pyrotechnics from Shimron Hetmyer (19*) and Keemo Paul (19) got them to 167-5.
Despite losing Johnson Charles (1) early, opener Colin Munro and Bhanuka Rajapaska put on an extraordinary 132-run partnership from 82 balls to make the chase a formality. Player of the match Rajapaska was unlucky not to bring up his century in just his second CPL match as he held out to Hetmyer at deep midwicket on 86 runs. Munro (55) fell in the 16th over with 19 more runs needed but it didn’t matter in the end as Sean Williams hit the winning runs with three overs to spare.
Victory for the St Lucia Kings means they have reached the playoffs with a match to spare. Up next for the Guyana Amazon Warriors is a clash against Trinbago Knight Riders tomorrow evening at Providence.
Meanwhile, Jamaica Tallawahs look to secure their place in Tuesday’s eliminator when they play St Kitts and Nevis Patriots tomorrow morning.
Guyana Amazon Warriors 167-5 in 20 overs (Azam Khan 40, Shai Hope 38; Alzarri Joseph 2-31). St Lucia Kings 170-3 in 17.3 overs (Bhanuka Rajapaska 86, Colin Munro 55). St Lucia Kings won by seven wickets with 15 balls to spare.