Barbados Tridents got their Caribbean Premier League 2018 campaign off to a winning start as Shai Hope and Raymon Reifer played starring roles for them.
Guyana Amazon Warriors, their opponents at Providence on Sunday, 12 August, had won both their first two games and were on a high. But Hope first slammed 88 in 45 balls to help Barbados put up 185/4, and Reifer then returned 5/20 to stop Guyana at 155/8 for a 30-run win.
Guyana, table-toppers despite the loss, opted to field, and got success early on as Martin Guptill and Dwayne Smith were sent back with just 11 on the board.
That was at the end of two overs, but Guyana’s next spot of success came only after 11 more overs when, off the first ball of the 13th over, Steve Smith was trapped lbw by Imran Tahir. In the time they had together before that, Hope and Smith took apart the Guyana bowling, Smith more sedate and Hope all aggressive.
Smith, playing his first game since his last appearance at the Global T20 Canada league on 10 July, was the perfect foil for the rampaging Hope, scoring 41 in 37 balls with six fours.
Even as Hope carried on after Smith’s dismissal, Nicholas Pooran came in and continued the good work, upping the ante even further with some brutal hitting.
Hope slammed six fours and six sixes in scoring a 45-ball 88, while Pooran hit 45* in just 27 balls with two fours and three sixes, and Barbados ended strongly.
The second half of the match was all about Reifer. After Jason Holder, the Barbados captain, had drawn first blood with the scalp of Chadwick Walton, Reifer waded in with his left-arm medium pace and ran through the Guyana innings. Luke Ronchi, Shimron Hetmyer, Chris Green, Jason Mohammed and Sherfane Rutherford all fell to Reifer as Barbados dominated.
“They got off to a good start and when I came in, I wasn't looking to take wickets and was only looking to keep it tight,” said Reifer, the Player of the Match.
“This performance is right up there with my other fifers. This is our first game and I was searching for good rhythm. Luckily, I have it now, and would look to put it to good use for my team.”
Holder was understandably pleased with the way his team’s season debut went.
“Really happy with the way the boys played their cricket. We knew 185 would be a good total and credit to the batsmen in the middle stages to get us there. We have some quality players in our side. It was good that Shai stepped up today. We have a lot to improve and do not want to get complacent,” he said.
“Reifer was outstanding at the start, came back well in the middle and it was good to see him start off the tournament well.”
For Shoaib Malik, the Guyana captain who tasted his first reversal of the competition, the loss wasn’t one to worry about too much.
“It happens in cricket where you win and lose games, but it is important how we come back. Credit goes to Shai Hope and Smith for the way they batted after losing early wickets. Also Pooran then exploited the momentum in the end,” he said.
“If you play on a good pitch, we need to contain the opposition to under 160. Also with our batting if someone scores a fifty, we end up on the winning side.”
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