Defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders' (TKR) 12-match unbeaten streak (from last season) ended in the opening game of the Hero CPL 2021 as Guyana Amazon Warriors (GAW) clinched a 9-run win.
A late charge from Shimron Hetmyer (54) and some clinical bowling, especially from Romario Shepherd (3-15), Odean Smith (2-10) and Imran Tahir (2-12) made an otherwise modest total of 142 look an uphill task for TKR.
GAW put up a mediocre batting show almost throughout the innings, other than Odean Smith's 15-ball 24 and Hetmyer's finishing touches. All the TKR bowlers were amongst wickets with Sunil Narine (2-17) and Akeal Hosein (2-17) being the most economical. The fielders did a great job too. A terrific catch from Darren Bravo at the boundary that sent back Nicholas Pooran was the highlight of the match.
In response to GAW's 142-7, TKR had a jittery start as they lost Lendl Simmons in the 2nd over. Romario Shepherd, who was the architect of his dismissal, went on to pick two more crucial wickets - those of Denesh Ramdin (28) and Kieron Pollard (2) - which eventually orchestrated the TKR downfall.
Imran Tahir with 2-12 was equally impressive. The turf aided spinners and Tahil capitalized on it fully to restrict TKR's run flow during the chase. In his 4 overs, he only gave away singles and picked up the wickets of Sunil Narine and Darren Bravo.
Akeal Hosein made a last-ditch attempt to take TKR through with an unbeaten 12-ball 22 but he didn't quite receive enough support from the other end and the team eventually fell short by 9 runs.