Hope, Reifer star as Tridents make bright start in CPL 2018

Barbados Tridents made a late but perfect start to their CPL 2018 campaign with a convincing 30-run victory over table-toppers Guyana Amazon Warriors, at the Providence Stadium on Sunday (August 12). Shai Hope’s belligerent 88, and 40s from Steven Smith and Nicholas Pooran, set them up for a commanding 185. Raymond Reifer followed it up with a fifer to hand Warriors their first defeat of the season.

Put in to bat first, Tridents endured a forgettable start with Martin Guptill getting out for a duck off the third ball of the game and his fellow opener, Dwayne Smith, departing nine balls later. However, Hope and Smith combined for a 105-run partnership for the third wicket that revived Trident’s hopes of posting a good total.

Hope played the aggressor in that stand, hitting half a dozen sixes and fours each en route his 45-ball 88. He recorded his highest score in T20 cricket with the help of back to back sixes off Imran Tahir in the 11th over, survived a direct hit in the following over and then registered his maiden T20 fifty. Sohail Tanvir was at the receiving end next, slammed for a six, four and six to close the 13th over.

Tahir returned into the attack in the 14th over and produced a breakthrough straightaway with a googly. Trapped in front, Smith walked on 41 even though replays showed the ball might just have escaped hitting the stumps. Hope added 21 more to his score and fell by the end of the 18th over, but Pooran’s final-over assault – 21 runs including three sixes – off Keemo Paul gave them the momentum going into the second half.

Skipper Jason Holder then provided a perfect start in their bowling innings by taking out Chadwick Walton for just six, in the second over of the chase. However, Warriors quickly got back on their feet through a brisk Shimron Hetmyer cameo worth 22 off nine, while Luke Ronchi held the other end. Reifer tilted the balance in Tridents’ favour once again as he dismissed both the set batsmen off successive deliveries in the fifth over to reduce the hosts to 40 for 3.

The Amazon Warriors again got their act together, this time through a 84-run partnership for the fourth wicket between their skipper Shoaib Malik (38) and Sherfane Rutherford (48). With 69 required off the final five overs, Malik decided to switch gears but was bowled after just one six off Ashley Nurse. However, the well-set Rutherford still offered some hope.

The equation was down to an improbable 53 off the final three overs when Reifer came back into the attack and produced a perfect 19th over that effectively ended the Amazon Warriors’ chase. He picked up three wickets in four deliveries – including that of the settled batsmen Rutherford and Chris Green – to complete his fifer and leave the hosts with a mammoth 34 to get off the final over.

It proved too tall a task for the tail a s Barbados breached the Guayan fortress with a 30-run victory to jump to jump straight to the second spot in the points tally. Warriors, despite the loss, held on to their top spot.

Brief scores: Barbados Tridents 185/4 in 20 overs (Shai Hope 88,Nicholas Pooran 45*, Steve Smith 41; Imran Tahir 1-24) beat Guyana Amazon Warriors 155/8 in 20 overs (Sherfane Rutherford 48, Shoaib Malik 38; Raymond Reifer 5-20) by 30 runs.

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