Image courtesy of: Zimbio
O’Brien led the Red Steel to their first win in the CPL
Irish eyes were smiling down on the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel as the Emerald Isles’ Kevin O’Brien smashed a brilliant 70 to lead his side to a tense victory over the Guyana Amazon Warriors.
Guyana’s James Franklin played an impeccable innings, scoring an unbeaten 60, but it was in vain as the Red Steel walked away with a three-run win.
Trinidad and Tobago captain Dwayne Bravo won the toss and chose to bat first.
The decision definitely looked to be the right one as O’Brien and his opening partner, Adrian Barath, put together a 95-run partnership at a run rate of 8.14 before Barath was caught behind for 29.
New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor continued to pile on the runs for the Red Steel as he smashed a valuable 39 runs off 27 balls, which included three boundaries and two sixes.
However, O’Brien was finally caught out off the bowling of Christopher Barnwell for 70 off 47 deliveries, which included two boundaries and an incredible six maximums.
With the late charge provided by Taylor, the Red Steel were able to amass 159 runs off their 20 overs.
Krishmar Santokie was the pick of Guyana’s bowlers as he took two wickets, while Barnwell and Steven Jacobs both finished with one wicket apiece.
With 160 runs standing between them and victory, the Amazon Warriors found themselves in early trouble as three of their top batsmen were back in the pavilion with only 47 runs on the board.
Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez helped stabilise the innings with his 35 off 38 balls, which included two boundaries and one six, before he too was removed by Bravo.
To have any hopes of reaching their target, the Amazon Warriors desperately needed a big partnership, and they got one from Franklin and Barnwell.
The pair put together an impressive 78-run partnership at a cracking rate of 12 runs per over, but it was just not enough as Guyana fell four agonising runs short of their target.
Franklin finished undefeated on 60 off 34 deliveries, which included five boundaries and three sixes, while Barnwell remained unbeaten on 23 off 18 balls, which included one boundary and one six.
Bravo was the star of Trinidad and Tobago’s bowling attack with two wickets, while Fidel Edwards and Delorn Johnson both snapped up one wicket each.