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St Lucia Zouks hold nerve to clinch thriller

St Lucia Zouks hold nerve to clinch thriller
An excellent final over from Fidel Edwards helped St Lucia Zouks to snatch a two-run win over Guyana Amazon Warriors at Gros Islet in the Caribbean Premier League.
©REUTERS / Action Images

St Lucia Zouks 156-6 (Charles 47) beat
Guyana Amazon Warriors 154-8 (Hodge 45) by two runs (D/L)
Sixth Match, Caribbean Premier League in St Lucia 

An excellent final over from Fidel Edwards helped St Lucia Zouks to snatch a two-run win over Guyana Amazon Warriors at Gros Islet in the Caribbean Premier League.

After being put into bat in a match that was shortened to 18 overs per side due to rain intervention, Zouks got off to a fine start through their opening batsmen Andre Fletcher (36) and Johnson Charles (47). 

Charles dominated the bowlers in his 26-ball innings that was studded with two boundaries and four sixes while Fletcher also creamed five fours and a six in his 22-ball stay at the crease.

Such was the domination from the duo that the 77-run opening stand came from just 41 deliveries before Ronsford Beaton (2-40) had Fletcher leg before wicket to give the visitors some respite.

Charles’ big hitting ways also came to an end soon as he charged down the track only to be stumped off Sunil Narine (2-32).

Narine struck once again in his next over when he removed Kyle Mayers (1) to leave Zouks at 99 for three in the 10th over.

Guyana gradually managed to claw their way back into the game with wickets at regular intervals as Veerasammy Permaul (2-24) snared two massive wickets in Kevin Pietersen (5) and Henry Davids (4) in his successive overs.

Ross Taylor (30 not out) along with Darren Sammy (18) put on a 39-run partnership off just 20 deliveries to give the innings some thrust before the latter become Beaton’s second victim.

The partnership between Taylor and Sammy enabled the Zouks to post a respectable total of 156 for eight from their stipulated 20 overs.

In reply, Guyana got off to a flier through Tillakaratne Dilshan (29), who played a breezy cameo before being retired hurt in the fourth over with the score on 36.

Dilshan’s opening partner Lendl Simmons (14) departed quickly after being removed by the impressive Kemar Roach (1-28).

Skipper Denesh Ramdin (21) threw caution to the winds with some enterprising shots to conjure a 10-ball knock that included a boundary and two sixes.

Just when it seemed like Ramdin was running away with the game, Eddie Leie (2-25) struck for Zouks in the ninth over of the innings.

Leie also dealt another blow in the same over when he ended Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s (7) struggling 17-ball knock to jolt the visitors.

Brad Hodge (45 not out) and Chris Barnwell (26) counter-attacked with an entertaining 53-run partnership which saw the latter being the aggressor.

In his 18-ball innings at the crease, Barnwell showed good intent as he cracked a boundary and two sixes to keep Guyana in the hunt.

The partnership was broken by Fidel Edwards (2-36) who had just begun to impose his presence in the game.

Dilshan returned back to join Hodge as the pair put on a vital 24-run partnership from just 12 deliveries to push Guyana towards a win.

With 14 runs needed off the final over, Edwards got through the defences of Dilshan in the second ball of the over.

Hodge however kept Guyana in the game with a boundary off the fourth delivery, but Edwards kept his nerve despite a couple of wides. 

With five needed off the final delivery of the innings, Narine (2 not out) could only manage two runs as St Lucia Zouks got home in a thrilling finish by two runs.

For his exuberant knock at the top of the order, Charles was awarded the man-of-the-match.

CPL 2015 Points Table

P W L Pts
1 Barbados Tridents 3 3 0 6
2 St Lucia Zouks 3 2 0 5
2 Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel 2 0 1 1
4 Jamaica Tallawahs 1 0 1 0
5 Guyana Amazon Warriors 2 0 2 0
6 St Kitts and Nevis Patriots 1 0 1 0

© Cricket World 2015