Story by Sean Devers; Photos by Zaheer Mohamed
Watched by a less than Capacity crowd at Providence last night Guyana Amazon Warriors beat Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) by two wickets with one ball left in a riveting contest, low scoring but exhilarating playoff to advance to Sunday’s CPL T20 final at the Brian Lara Stadium, South Trinidad with their second consecutive win on home soil.
Only Colin Ingram (25), Darren Bravo (24) and Dwayne Bravo (22) past 20 as TKR faced 60 dot balls and struggled to 122 off 20-overs against a disciplined Warriors attack which kept the shackles on TKR throughout their innings.
Skipper Chris Green, 2-8 from 4 overs never released the pressure on the batsmen and got excellent support from Sohail Tanvir (2-38) and Rayed Emrit (2-22) for the Warriors who reached 126-8 off 19.5 overs.
Shimron Hetymer hit two fours and two sixes in 39 to take his runs aggregate to 425 while Sherfane Rutherford made a 17-ball 30 decorated with four fours and six in match winning 50-run partnership from 29 balls.
The Warriors replaced Davendra Bishoo with Romario Shepherd and again rested Kemo Paul who is not one hundred percent fit while TKR strengthened their bowling by bringing back Sunil Narine and 27-year-old American pacer Ali Khan who were rested for Sunday’s encounter between the two sides.
Set just six runs per over to avoid playing another game before the final, the Warriors lost Cameron Delport (2) off Fawad Ahmed at 10-1 while Luke Ronchi’s struggles continued when he fell to Khary Pierre for 13 at 23-2 in the sixth over
Hetymer walked to the middle and the crowd roared and the left-hander from Young Warriors in Berbice smashed Ahmed for four before Jason Mohammed (3) was LBW to Narine at 29-3 in the ninth over to bring Chadwick Walton to the crease.
Hetymer dumped Ahmed for six before a paddle sweep and a square drive off Pierre for boundaries took Walton to nine before he pushed a ball back to bowler and was run out at 52-4 in the 12th over.
Green surprisingly promoted himself ahead of Rutherford and was removed by Perrier for a duck without addition to the score. Rutherford took a couple of boundaries off Ali Khan in the 14th over and deposited Bravo for a massive six over cover while a four from Hetymer brought down the required rate which had climbed to over 10 per over.
Rutherford smashed Cooper square for four and clobbered him out of the ground as the partnership flourished before the game took another twist when Hetymer was run out and Rutherford was caught at long-off with the score on 102 the 17th over.
Tanvir and Emrit arrived with 21 needed from 18 balls with three wickets in hand but Emrit (1) edged Bravo to the Keeper at 105-8. Shepherd hit Bravo for six off his first ball and the crowd was screaming in the stands. Tanvir and Shepherd batted sensibly with a four past point by Shepherd leaving four to win in the final over.
Shepherd took a single off the first ball while Tanvir faced three dot balls before hitting the fifth ball from Bravo back over his head onto the sight screen to climax a thrilling low scoring game. Earlier, Warriors asked TKR to bat on a slow track and an outfield which showed little effect from the heavy overnight and morning showers.
Narine, again used as pinch hitter, lofted Tanvir over mid-on for four before Brendon McCullum was LBW for a duck at 5-1 off the final delivery of the first over. Colin Monroe, the tournament’s leading run scorer with 470 runs was removed by Green’s off-spin in the second over a run later without scoring as Warriors struck in first two overs.
Denish Ramdin (15) stroked Tanvir for three boundaries in his second over which cost 12 runs before the 39-year-old leg-spin wizard Imran Tahir trapped Ramdin LBW at 24-3. And when Narine (8) was removed by Green at 26-4 as the TKR top order was blown away as Green, arguably the best off-spinner in this year’ CPL had a wicket maiden and at the end of the six-over power-play TKR were tottering in the Warriors own back yard on 26-4.
Colin Ingram was joined by Darren Bravo and after 10 overs with the score was 42-4 with only four boundaries being conceded by the local franchise. Emrit watched in dismay as Darren Bravo (13) was dropped by Tanvir at mid-off at 51-4 in the 12th over and celebrated his good fortune with a glorious extra cover driven boundary off Tahir.
Bravo edged an almighty drive at Tanvir to end the 48-run fifth wicket stand and leave the TKR on 76-5 in the 15th over. Bravo’s 24 took 33 balls and included three boundaries. Bravo’s demise brought his elder brother DJ Bravo to the crease but Ingram hit a high full toss from Emrit to long-off at 86-6 after his run-a ball 24 was aided by a couple of fours and the smallest crowd of the six previous CPL games in Guyana this year, was waving Guyana flags and dancing in the stands.
The 100 came up in the 18th over when Shepherd bowled Bravo a ‘beamer’ before Copper continued from where he left off on Sunday night and got going with a six over mid-wicket off Tanvir in the penultimate over.
After three swigs and misses Bravo hit Emrit for six before being taken at short third man to end a disappointing batting performance. The other playoff will see Patriots playing Tallawahs from 18:00hrs this evening at Providence.
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