Holder plays as Royals advance to CPL playoffs | Sports

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TAROUBA, Trinidad (CMC):

The Barbados Royals beat the Guyana Amazon Warriors in a rainy, low-scoring affair from a tough wicket at the Brian Lara Stadium yesterday to become the first team to book their place in the playoffs in this year’s Caribbean Premier League.

In a contest reduced to 16 overs after the second of two rain breaks – the first coming before the draw and the second after the 13th over in the Royals’ innings – the leaders rallied at 107 for six of their quota, thanks largely to all-rounder Jason Holder’s unbeaten 40 over 33 deliveries.

The Amazon Warriors, who were desperate for points after entering the game rooted at the bottom of the six-team league, were then held at 81 for nine of their 16 overs, to go under 29 carries under Duckworth-Lewis-Stern .

They found themselves suffocated by left-arm dressmakers Ramon Simmonds (two for 21) and Obed McCoy (two for 24), as well as Rahkeem Cornwall (two for 12), and failed to string together any partnership.

Afghan off-spinner Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, who handed over the ball again, proved simply brilliant in his four-man spell, claiming a wicket and giving up just four runs.

Captain Shimron Hetmyer (12) and Ireland fly-half Paul Stirling (11) were the only two specialist batsmen to reach double figures.

The Royals’ win was their seventh in eight games, taking them to 14 points while the Amazon Warriors remained deep with their fourth loss in six games and just one win to their name.

Sent off, the Royals were carried early by Cornwall who hit a four and two sixes for 20 on 18 balls, but they still crashed to 38 for four in the 10th after Chandrapaul Hemraj (3-15) made breakthroughs with his part-time left arm rotation.

Holder, who hit fours and three sixes, then patched up the innings first in a 24-run fifth-wicket stand with Azam Khan (eight) and then in an unbroken eighth-wicket partnership with Mujeeb, who whipped a nine ball 19 with three fours and a six.

In response, Amazon Warriors mustered just six runs from the first three overs, leading southpaw Hemraj (4) to strike and give Cornwall’s best to a short, thin leg.

Stirling followed in the sixth over, driving his 18th delivery to cover leg spinner Hayden Walsh Jr and promoted Keemo Paul (six) perished in the eighth over at 30 for three, going long away from Holder.

When Cornwall returned to the Hetmyer bowl early in the 10th, Amazon Warriors faced a required run rate of nearly 10.5 per over and McCoy and Simmons made a recovery impossible.

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