In a scintillating showdown that produced the two highest individual scores of CPL 2017, Chadwick Walton‘s 92 trumped Dwayne Smith’s century as Guyana Amazon Warriors scored a crucial four-wicket win over Barbados Tridents. That meant Warriors were level on four points with Tridents.
Kieron Pollard nearly triggered a shocking collapse with four wickets at the death but it was the one wicket he did not take – bypassing a mankad opportunity with Assad Fudadin a long way out of his crease – that he may come to regret. Fudadin struck a boundary to begin the 20th to draw scores level before a wide down the leg side accounted for the winning run with five balls to spare.
Smith’s charmed ton
Smith brought up the first century of CPL 2017, but not without a fair share of luck. He was first reprieved on 42, in the 13th over, courtesy a Keemo Paul no-ball. Six balls later, on 46, Smith was struck on the back pad off a skiddy Rashid delivery that would’ve crashed into the stumps, but wasn’t given. While Kane Williamson, with whom he put together a 107-run opening stand fell for 47, Smith launched a savage attack in the end overs, scoring 39 off the last three overs to bring up his century.
The final surge began when he clattered three fours and a six off Sohail Tanvir in the 18th over. He slammed a four early in the 19th off Rayad Emrit then ended the over with back-to-back sixes to move to 96. He missed out on a beamer from Tanvir that could have disappeared for his century, but wound up striking a two off the ensuing free hit and then a subsequent two to bring up his century off 70 balls. He fell with two balls to spare; Tridents finished with 159 for 4.
After watching Smith’s carnage from behind the stumps, Walton responded with a gem himself. Martin Guptill, the captain, dropped himself down the order and Sohail Tanvir to open with Walton. The pair raced to 48 off four overs to lay down the marker. But just like Smith had good fortune, Walton benefited too. He first survived a confident lbw shout off Ravi Rampaul on 11 and was then dropped at deep midwicket in the same over.
While Tanvir fell in the fifth over, Walton was undeterred, smacking Imran Khan’s legspin for a four and two sixes. Even though Gajanand Singh fell in the next over, Walton’s blitz took Warriors to 71 for 2 after six overs, their highest Powerplay score this season. Walton moved to 50 off 27 balls in the following over. Having broken a window with one of his earlier sixes, he nearly took out a cheerleader with another in the 10th. His sixth and final six was an imperious straight drive off Rampaul that took him into the 90s and by the time he was dismissed in the 17th, he’d moved to the top of the 2017 CPL scoring chart.