THE AMAZON WARRIORS DEFEATED RED STEEL TO ADVANCE TO THE FINAL
The Guyana Amazon Warriors made light work of the T&T Red Steel in the first semi-final to book their spot in the grand final of the Limacol Caribbean Premier League. Bolstered by the arrivals of Lasith Malinga and Tillakaratne Dilshan, the Sri Lankans would prove to be two key players in the Warriors� victory.
They conceded 32 runs between them in 7.3 overs and accounted for four Red Steel wickets. The hosts failed to turn up on the big day, limping to 103 all out in 19.3 overs. The Amazon Warriors� chase was pretty simple as well, having done all the hard work up front but it could be seen in the Amazon Warriors� actions in batting, bowling and fielding that they were on a mission.
Lendl Simmons fell early in the chase for eight runs. He had threatened to tee off getting a boundary early on but Fidel Edwards got a short ball to get big on him, only for his pull shot to be top-edged to Suliemann Benn at mid-on. William Perkins, who came into the side for Trevon Griffth, looked good early in his innings. He started off cautiously but quickly changed gears. Together with Dilshan, he took the score to 47/2, putting on 39 runs for the second wicket. In the sixth over, when Perkins took the attack to Benn, hitting the spinner for two boundaries, an attempt for a third was only edged to Badree.
However, Dilshan was the man the innings surrounded. He stood firm for the Warriors, hitting three fours and a six in his innings. The marquee shot was the shot he had invented himself. He scooped a full ball from Edwards all the way over fine-leg for six. He was marching the Warriors to victory in just his first match. He struck 39 runs from just 29 balls. He built another good partnership, this time with Ramnaresh Sarwan. Both batsmen put on 31 runs before Kevon Cooper had him fooled with a slower ball that offered a simple caught and bowled chance. It was the third time in the tournament that slower ball had gotten a world class batsman but at 78/3, it was difficult for the Red Steel to pull things back. Dwayne Bravo tried hard, bowling tight, and so did Cooper, but they were woefully short. Sarwan and James Franklin combined a measured partnership to ensure the victory.
Earlier, the Red Steel had not quite come to terms with the task at hand. By the end of the Powerplay, they were already three wickets down with 25 runs on the board. Their three best batsmen in Kevin O�Brien, Mahela Jayawardene and Ross Taylor had all gone, with O�Brien eight runs being the highest score of them all. Things didn�t get any better. Runs were hard to come by and the balls were ticking away fast.
Adrian Barath was run out trying to steal a quick single while Little Bravo lost patience, holing out to James Franklin at long-off. Big Bravo and Cooper tried to inject some life at the end. They took the score from 56/6 to 101/7. Cooper hammered 27 runs from 17 balls, particularly taking the attack to Sunil Narine. Dwayne Bravo at the other end was trying to anchor the innings, though it was more like not trying to lose any more wickets than had already gone. Things started looking up for the Red Steel when Cooper struck Narine for two sixes at the start of the 16th and 18th overs. However, when he tried ending the 18th over with another six, he only managed to pick out Franklin at long-on.
With two overs to go, the innings that looked like it would end promisingly withered a quick death. Benn, Bravo and Edwards all fell as the Red Steel were bowled out in 19.3 overs. Bravo had made 26 runs from 34 balls. That score was never going to be enough to hold back the Warriors. Half the job was done at that stage and the other half was completed in fine style. At the end of the night, they put their feet up and waited for the winner of the second semi-final between the Tridents and the Tallawahs on Friday night.
Nicholas Pooran got the Limacol Super Six award while Kevon Cooper was the Digicel 4G Fastest Scorer. The Man of the Match was Tillakaratne Dilshan.