Guyana Amazon Warriors 143 for 4 (Smith 50, Maddinson 50, Reifer 2-22) beat Barbados Tridents 142 for 7 (Malik 55*, Wiese 40, Emrit 2-24) by six wickets.
A modest but boisterous crowd with a heavy contingent of Guyanese supporters cheered Guyana Amazon Warriors to a six-wicket victory over Barbados Tridents in the first CPL match in America on Thursday night at the Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill. With 5,000 chairback seats available at the CBRP, less than half were filled by the time the first ball was bowled by Dwayne Smith just after 7 pm, and an estimated 4,000 had made it through the gates by the time the match was ended, more than three hours later, by a single off the bat of Sohail Tanvir.
In between, the crowd was thrilled by some big hitting from Smith, who made a mockery of Tridents’ total of 142 for 7 by bashing his way to a fifty off 30 balls. Whereas the Tridents struggled to clear the deceptively large square boundaries, Smith succeeded in going big straight down the ground for three massive sixes over long on, including one over the perimeter fence and out of the ground.
Smith teamed up with Nic Maddinson for a 92-run opening stand in just 10.2 overs, with the Australian also notching 50 in just his second game of the season for Amazon Warriors after replacing Martin Guptill. With the bulk of the chase taken care of by the two openers, Amazon Warriors cantered towards the target after both men departed. The required run rate briefly threatened to go above a run a ball before Christopher Barnwell clattered a four and six off legspinner Imran Khan in the 16th to erase any prospect of a Tridents fightback.
Tridents had got off to a fairly rapid start, reaching 30 for 1 in three overs after being sent in, to dispel any fears about a poor pitch. Good bounce and carry was on offer for the pacers with a bit of turn for the spinners. Tridents also had reasonable success sending in David Wiese as a pinch-hitter at No. 3, with the South African making 40 off 31 balls before he drove a low full toss from Barnwell to Chris Lynn at long-off, making it 97 for 3 after 13.
But Tridents failed to capitalize on that platform with Nicholas Pooran and captain Kieron Pollard falling cheaply, for 3 and a second-ball duck respectively, both caught on the midwicket boundary in the space of six balls. From there, Shoaib Malik struggled to provide the late acceleration required, managing to reach his half-century off 44 balls by hitting the final ball of the innings for six to end on 55 not out. It wound up not being nearly enough for Tridents, who now must win their re-match against Amazon Warriors on Saturday to have any hope of reaching the playoffs.
In the end, the partisan crowd in Florida had little to complain about. A much larger crowd than Thursday’s estimated 4,000 is expected on Friday, and a sell-out of 10,000 is expected for both Saturday and Sunday.