… To face Tridents in qualifier tomorrow
BOTH Guyana Amazon Warriors and Barbados Tridents will aim to book their berth for Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) final, when they face each other in the first qualifier playoff tomorrow at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.
The Amazon Warriors will be the more confident side going into this game due to their outstanding performance throughout the preliminary round, winning all ten of their games – a perfect regular season record for the first time in CPL history.
They also have the additional benefit of playing at their home ground and having beaten Tridents twice this season their confidence will be boost even more.
Tomorrow’s clash between the two teams was set up by a seven-wicket win by Amazon Warriors over Trinbago Knight Riders last evening here in the season’s final preliminary game.
Prior to the game, Knight Riders had needed a win to claim second place and force an immediate rematch in the first qualifier playoff with the Warriors, but they now have to settle for the first elimination playoff against St Kitts & Nevis Patriots to be played tomorrow from 11:00hrs.
Earlier, Knight Riders had managed to scramble to a score of 143-5 on a tricky surface. It was a trial against spin for the defending champions as 13 overs were bowled by the Warriors spinners. Left-arm spinner Chandrapaul Hemraj (3-15) led that department.
Lendl Simmons started off in blazing manner but TKR kept losing wickets at the other end.
The spinners strangled the scoring in the middle overs and at that point it seemed improbable to get a par score although skipper Kieron Pollard and James Neesham fashioned a 41-run unbroken sixth-wicket stand off 20 balls towards the end.
Asked to bat first, Simmons kick-started the TKR innings with back-to-back boundaries off Hemraj, before taking full advantage of an Imran Tahir’s no-ball free-hit, slog-sweeping over deep mid-wicket for six.
However, the experiment to open with Javon Searles didn’t work, and Hemraj rebounded nicely to bowl both Searles (1) and Denesh Ramdin without scoring in his second over.
Simmons then struck another four off Tahir and a six off Chris Green, but the promising recovery ended when he was bowled by Hemraj off an arm ball for 30, at 62-3 at the halfway stage.
Darren Bravo (9) never looked comfortable in his stay and decided to hit his way out, lofting a flighted delivery from Shoaib Malik to Shimron Hetmyer at long-on.
Pollard joined Colin Munro and the duo took their time to settle in and did their best to get the scoreboard moving.
Munro, who was earlier dropped by Hetmyer, struck a pair of fours and sixes in his 43 before he lofted an off-cutter from Ben Laughlin towards long-on where Hetmyer took a well-judged catch.
Pollard struck four fours and a six in his unbeaten 36 while Neesham hit two boundaries in his 12 not out.
Warriors, in their reply, reached 144-3 in 18.4 overs with Nicholas Pooran muscling his way to an unbeaten 35-ball 54, inclusive of five fours and three sixes.
Hemraj never really got going, hitting a six before he managed an attempted pull shot and was taken at deep mid-wicket off Ali Khan for 12.
His opening partner Brandon King managed seven boundaries in his 33 while Hetmyer orchestrated his own demise with a ‘brainless’ shot and was caught at short extra cover off Khary Pierre for nine.
Play was halted due to a brief shower with the match evenly balanced with the current DLS calculations having the teams tied.
The resumption then saw Malik and Pooran expertly guiding their team home comfortably, as Malik held the innings together along with the explosive Pooran, to finish unbeaten on 28.