Left-handed opener Chandrapaul Hemraj carved out a splendid maiden Twenty20 hundred as Guyana Amazon Warriors condemned Barbados Royals to their fifth defeat in six matches of the Caribbean Premier League, with a dominant nine-wicket victory in St Kitts on Saturday.
Asked to chase an insufficient 131 on a belter at Warner Park, Amazon Warriors raced to their target with 34 balls to spare with the 28-year-old Hemraj blasting an unbeaten 105 off 56 balls.
He reached his landmark off the final ball of the run chase when he stylishly lifted 20-year-old seamer Nyeem Young over point for his fifth six, to add to his 14 fours.
Hemraj marched to his fifty in the sixth over off 25 balls by slashing a full toss from fast bowler Oshane Thomas behind point for four, before reaching his second fifty off 31 deliveries.
“It’s unbelievable. I’ve been getting some starts for the tournament and I’m just happy to carry on in this game,” said a breathless Hemraj.
“I played some cricket coming into this tournament. I must thank my trainer for working me for the last three, four weeks before coming into the tournament.
“I definitely feel more confident. I feel much stronger and much fitter and I’ve got the endurance to bat longer.”
Royals’ effort of 130 all out off their 20 overs after choosing to bat first never looked enough.
Azam Khan top-scored with 28, Johnson Charles got 23 and Shai Hope and Raymon Reifer, 22 apiece, but all failed to build on their starts.
Leg-spinner Imran Tahir (3-34) wiped out the top order to leave the innings tottering on 28 for three in the fifth over and though Hope and Reifer put on 34 for the fourth wicket, Royals lost their last seven wickets for 68 runs.
“It’s tough to explain. We just never really got momentum. We’ve been struggling all tournament with the bat,” said a perplexed Royals skipper Jason Holder, who scored nine from 14 balls and went wicket-less from two overs which leaked 24 runs.
“When we’ve lost games we’ve really struggled with the bat and we’ve asked our bowlers to come out and put up their hands.
“Trying to defend 120, 130 is always going to be a tough task so we’ve just got to find a way to get some runs on the board.”
Hemraj quickly set the tone for the chase, putting on 103 for the first wicket with out-of-form Brandon King who made 19 from 17 balls with two fours.
By the time King was hit plumb in front by Young in the 11th over, Amazon Warriors were comfortably en route to victory and Hemraj added a further 33 with Shoaib Malik (8 not out) to take them over the line.
Amazon Warriors lie third on six points while Royals are rooted to the bottom of the standings on two points.
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