Patrick Noone analyses how the Amazon Warriors ran out comfortable winners over the Tridents
Just when Barbados Tridents thought things couldn’t get any worse, that’s exactly what happened. The defending champions’ last three games have been nothing short of shambolic as they have discovered ever more inventive ways of losing cricket matches.
Saturday’s defeat to Trinbago Knight Riders was bad but could at least be put down to the genius of Kieron Pollard. Sometimes you just have to put your hands up etc. Sunday’s failure to chase 92 against St Lucia Zouks was worse, but if you were being generous you could find mitigating circumstances for their collective inability to get over the line.
Tonight though, the excuses have surely run out as Guyana Amazon Warriors bowled them out for 92, leaving them languishing fifth in the table and facing an uphill task to qualify for the top four. Conditions certainly couldn’t be blamed, given that this was a pitch on which Trinbago Knight Riders had scored 184 hours earlier.
What the Tridents did have to contend with was an Amazon Warriors side with the bit between their teeth, led by their impressive captain, Chris Green. It was he who set the ball rolling, dismissing Justin Greaves in the first over of the match and going on to finish with figures of 1-3 from his four overs.
Green’s spell contained 21 dots, the most he’s ever bowled in a T20 innings and only once has he bettered the 42% false shot percentage that he drew from the Tridents batsmen. The skipper was backed up ably by Kevin Sinclair, the 20-year-old playing just his second T20 match and between them the duo shared the first eight overs with their off-spin, restricting the Tridents to 17-4 by the time they’d bowled out.
Following the spin pair was Naveen-ul-Haq. The Afghan seamer has flown somewhat under the radar this season, given the dominance of the Amazon Warriors’ spinners, but he was exceptional tonight, registering career-best figures of 4-14 from his four overs.
Naveen did not pitch a single ball fuller than a good length until his penultimate delivery and picked up the first two of his wickets with short balls that first Kyle Mayers and then Ashley Nurse fell to trying to pull. A measure of how much control Naveen had over the Tridents batsmen was that they only attacked him 29% of the time, the lowest of all the Amazon Warriors bowlers.
It all meant that the Tridents coincidentally found themselves defending the exact score they’d failed to chase on Sunday. The Amazon Warriors showed little urgency in reaching the target but were at least always well ahead of the required rate.
In truth, this was a fairly turgid affair, illustrated by the fact that only 49% of all deliveries were attacked, the 10th lowest amount in CPL history. That won’t bother the Amazon Warriors though, who have now recorded back to back wins and seem to be peaking at a good time.
The opposite is true of the Tridents who look like a team desperately low on confidence with no idea where their next win is coming from. They meet the Amazon Warriors again on Thursday before finishing their group campaign against Jamaica Tallawahs on Saturday. Two wins from two would put them right back in the mix for the playoffs, but you’d be a brave person to bet on them winning either in this kind of form.
Patrick Noone is a CricViz analyst