The Saint Lucia Kings confirmed their place in the 2023 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Playoffs following a comfortable seven wicket victory over the Guyana Amazon Warriors.
The Amazon Warriors won the toss and opted to bat first and it was a decision that was to backfire as the innings never really got going until the final five overs. Despite some late power hitting the Amazon Warriors could only post 167/5 which appeared subpar at first glance.
That proved to be correct as the Saint Lucia Kings confirmed that by chasing down the 168 to win with 15 balls remaining.
Earlier the Amazon Warriors suffered a slow start as Matthew Nandu was run out for three inside the PowerPlay and that setback contributed to the Warriors only reaching 35/1 at the end of the initial six overs.
That sedate start was difficult for the home side to overcome as the CPL’s top run scorer, Saim Ayub, fell for 16 in the ninth over with the score on 50/2.
However, Shai Hope and Azam Khan then Khan and Shimron Hetmyer helped rebuild the innings before late fireworks from Keemo Paul and Romario Shepherd ensured 72 runs were added in the final five overs to set the Kings 168 to win.
That 168 proved to be well under par as the Kings made easy work of the chase.
Although Johnson Charles fell for 1 in the second over that was to be as good as it got for the Amazon Warriors as Colin Munro and Bhanuka Rajapaksa put on a devastating partnership of 132 runs from 82 balls.
Rajapaksa holed out for 86 to deep mid-wicket and Munro followed shortly after for 55, but the job was done. It allowed Sean Williams and Sikandar Raza to see the chase home with three overs remaining.
The win ensures the Kings qualify for the playoffs with one game to spare.