Warriors books spot in finals in last over thriller

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, September 12, 2018

With three runs needed to win from just two balls, the crowd at the National Stadium were on the edge of their seats before Sohail Tanvir smashed the ball out of the stadium, booking the Guyana Amazon Warriors a spot in their fourth finals. This was before, home boys Shimron Hetmyer and Sherfane Rutherford collaborated on a much needed 50-run partnership.

The win over the Trinbago Knight Riders is the second time in two days that the Warriors got the best of the Caribbean Premier League Champions. The tense low scoring match saw the Knight Riders posting a total of 122 runs in their allotted 20 overs on a wicket that seemed to favour the spinners.

In the opening over of the match, Tanvir picked up the wicket of Brendon McCullum via lbw who could have possibly posed a challenge for the Warriors had he gotten off the ground. Leading run scorer of the tournament Colin Munro followed suit in the very next over getting caught in the outfield by Jason Mohammed off the bowling of Captain Chris Green.

The Warriors’ leading wicket-taker Imran Tahir was not one to be left out of the action grabbing the wicket of Denesh Ramdin via lbw in his first five overs of the evening. It seemed as though the effects from the devastating defeat to the Warriors two nights before still had the Knight Riders a bit shaky since they score just 26 runs in the first five overs with the loss of three wickets.

The Knight Riders would lose Sunil Narine, their fourth wicket in the sixth over with the ball landing in the safe hands of Romario Shepherd off a maiden over of Captain Chris Green. The bowling of the Warriors seemed to have the Knight Riders bamboozled scoring just 42 runs after 10 overs with the loss of four wickets.

Tanvir then picked up the wicket of Darren Bravo. Clinical bowling by the Warriors kept the Knight Riders who are known for their explosive batting quiet restricting them to only 79 runs after 15 overs.

More trouble loomed for the Knight Riders as Rayad Emrit grabbed the wicket of Colin Ingram with the ball landing comfortably in the hands of Shepherd. Emrit then ended the nightmare for the Knight Riders picking up the wicket of Captain Dwayne Bravo off the last ball of the 20th over.

What would seem to be an easy game for the home side did not begin smoothly. The Warriors got off to a slow start, just managing to find the boundary and faced some tricky bowling by Narine, Fawad Ahmed and Khary Pierre. After 15 overs, the Warriors were 76-5 just three runs short of the Knight Riders at the same stage.

It was the sons of the soil who came to the rescue once again and led the assault against the Knight Riders. It began to rain boundaries lifting the spirits of the home crowd.

However, the pair would lose their wickets cheaply before they completed the task. It was Shepherd who hit a huge six in the last ball of the 18th over with Guyana needing 12 runs from 12 balls to win. With just two wickets remaining and two overs to go, it was Tanvir and Shepherd that withstood the pressure, having already done their duty with the ball.

The pair steadily and carefully selected their shots against two crucial death bowlers Cooper and Bravo. However, it was a boundary by Shepherd in the penultimate over and a maximum in the penultimate ball of the game that saw the National Stadium erupting with loud cheers as Guyana booked their spot in the finals for the biggest party in sports.

The St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots go head to head today for a spot in the Semi-finals where they will face the Trinbago Knight Riders

Match Summary: Guyana Amazon Warriors 126 for 8 (Hetmyer 39, Rutherford 30, Pierre 2-18) beat Trinbago Knight Riders 122 for 7 (Ingram 25, Green 2-8, Emrit 2-22) by two wickets

By: Isaiah Braithwaite.

Images: Kawise Wishart and Keno George.