A match-winning knock of 57 not out by opener Colin Munro on Thursday night saw Trinbago Knight Riders defeat the Guyana Amazon Warriors by six wickets to progress to today’s final of the 2017 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
In Thursday’s Second Qualifier at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba, Munro benefitted from two dropped chances to bat from start to finish, as the Knight Riders, replying to the Amazon Warriors’ 159 runs for six wickets in their allotted 20 overs, reached 160/4 with two overs to spare.
Today, at Tarouba, the Knight Riders will oppose St Kitts/Nevis Patriots in a rematch of the First Qualifier on Tuesday (the Patriots won that clash by 38 runs to move directly into the final).
Munro was pushed up a notch to open with fellow left-hander Sunil Narine, after the experiment with William Perkins ended after just one match.
Narine fell in the first ball of the innings, leg-before to left-arm pacer Sohail Tanvir while advancing down the wicket.
Munro then struck off-spinner Steven Jacobs for three successive fours to move to 13, but he was shockingly dropped at mid-off by Roshon Primus while attempting a fourth boundary.
A couple overs later, the Amazon Warriors captain Rayad Emrit leapt high at cover but was unable to hold on to a lofted shot from Munro (when on 18) off leg-spinner Rashid Khan.
Those missed opportunities deflated the confidence of the Amazon Warriors outfit as Munro featured in a third-wicket stand of 82 with Darren Bravo to virtually guarantee the win for hosts.
Hamza Tariq, who replaced Perkins in the Knight Riders’ XI, hung around for 10 before he edged Emrit to wicket-keeper Luke Ronchi.
Darren Bravo (43 off 27 balls with two boundaries and four sixes) feasted on the spin of Jacobs and left-armer Veerasammy Permaul before he was caught on the long-off boundary.
His brother and team captain Dwayne Bravo was stumped off a leg-side wide, before Munro (51 balls, seven fours) and Denesh Ramdin (18 off 12 balls) carried the Knight Riders to the finish line, seconds before a shower fell at the venue.
The Amazon Warriors, who were sent in to bat first, were kept in check by useful bowling by the Knight Riders.
Tanvir (eight) was leg-before sweeping at Narine and Ronchi (23) lost his leg-stump as he played all over to a slower ball from Dwayne Bravo.
Opener Chadwick Walton struck three sixes in his 31-ball 37 before he was stumped by Ramdin off Narine, while Jason Mohammed (10) slashed at one from pacer Javon Searles to Yasir Shah at extra cover.
Shah came into the Knight Riders team at the expense of fellow Pakistan leg-spinner Shadab Khan, who returned home to fulfil national commitments.
Gajanand Singh (39 off 25 balls with three sixes and one four) and Primus (35 not out off 18 balls with four fours and a six) accelerated the scoring in the latter overs, but fast bowler Ronsford Beaton, in the final over of the innings, removed Singh and fellow left-hander Assad Fudadin off successive balls.