Steve Smith inspired the Barbados Tridents to a great win over Guyana Amazon Warriors, but Raymon Reifer stole the day.
In the Tridents’ first match of the 2018 Caribbean Premier League, Smith and his teammates made easy work of the table-topping Amazons, who had won both of their opening league matches.
Smith joined Shai Hope at the crease at the start of the third over with the score on 11-2, and when Imran Tahir trapped him leg before for 41 (37 balls) 12 overs later, the Tridents were on 116-3. The pair’s 105-run stand came at almost nine runs to the over, with Hope scoring at more than two runs a ball during their stand.
Hope and Nicholas Pooran added 39 before the former fell for a brilliant 88 off 45 balls (sixes fours and six sixes), leaving his partner to slam 27 off the final 10 deliveries. Hope ended 45 not out (27 balls, two fours, three sixes) as the Tridents reached 185-4, the highest-ever CPL total in Guyana, where the average first-innings CPL score is 126.
Tahir and Chris Green were the best of the Amazon bowlers, each picking up a wicket at an economy rate of six runs to the over.
Shoaib Malik (38) and Sherfane Rutherford (48) shared a stand of 84 for the fourth wicket, but there was little other resistance as the Amazons ended their 20 overs on 155-8.
The innings belonged to the Tridents’ left-arm medium-fast bowler Reifer, whose father and two uncles played first-class cricket, while his cousin, Floyd Reifer, played six Tests for the West Indies. Capped once himself in Tests, Reifer is hoping the CPL will offer him the chance to push for an ODI or T20I place in the West Indies side, and his bowling performance against the Amazons would have made the selectors sit up and take notice.
He started by removing Black Caps opener Luke Ronchi for 10 and followed up the next ball with the wicket of dangerman Shimron Hetmyer for 22.
With the Amazons needing 39 runs off the final two overs remaining, Reifer’s last over closed the gate emphatically on the match. The first ball was hit for four by Green, but the batsman was caught the next ball at extra cover. Jason Mohammed holed out two balls later, caught on the extra cover boundary for a two-ball duck, and next ball he had Rutherford caught behind for 48, leaving the Amazons on 151-7.
Reifer’s last ball was punched for a single, which left the Amazons needing 34 off the final over, but all they could muster was three singles for the loss of a wicket.
Reifer twice missed out on a hat-trick during a devastating bowling performance that saw him return with incredible figures of 4-0-20-5 (econ 5.00, 13 dot balls).
‘I got two wickets in my first over, but it was a good batting wicket,’ said Reifer when collecting his Man of the Match award. ‘Hopefully, I can put in more match-winning performances going forward.’
Photo: Randy Brooks – CPL T20/Getty Images