GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) – A Shimron Hetmyer half-century and a stunning cameo from Man-of-the-Match, Sherfane Rutherford, fired Guyana Amazon Warriors to a commanding six-wicket win over reigning champions, Trinbago Knight Riders, in the final preliminary round match of the Caribbean Premier League here Sunday night.
Chasing a modest 155 at the Guyana National Stadium, the hosts motored to their target with nearly six overs remaining, courtesy of Hetmyer’s top score of 59, Rutherford’s whirlwind 43 and opener Cameron Delport’s 37.
Despite the defeat, TKR finished top of the standings on 14 points and will clash with Amazon Warriors again in Tuesday’s first playoff at the same venue at 6 p.m.
The winner will book their spot in next Sunday’s final while the losers will have a second recourse in Friday’s semi-final, when they face the winner of Wednesday’s second playoff between third placed Jamaica Tallawahs and the fourth placed St Kitts and Nevis Patriots.
Opting to bowl first, Amazon Warriors were superb in restricting TKR’s powerful batting line-up to just 154 for seven off their 20 overs, with left-hander Darren Bravo holding the innings together with an unbeaten 42, Denesh Ramdin getting 32 and Kevon Cooper, a hasty 30.
Seamer Rayad Emrit (2-25) and left-arm new-ball bowler, Sohail Tanvir (2-36) grabbed two wickets apiece while South African spinners, Chris Green and Imran Tahir, kept the brakes on the scoring with miserly four-over spells.
In fact, TKR were reeling at 23 for three in the sixth over with overseas stars Colin Munro (6), Colin Ingram, (4) and Brendon McCullum (9) all dismissed cheaply.
Bravo then led the recovery, first in a 54-run, fourth wicket stand with Ramdin before putting on 23 for the fifth wicket with older brother Dwayne Bravo (14) and a further 37 for the sixth wicket with Cooper.
All told, Bravo faced 34 balls and struck a single four and two sixes while Ramdin counted four fours and a six in a 31-ball knock before holing out to deep square leg in the 12th over off Emrit.
Bravo missed one from Emrit and had his stumps shattered in the 16th over and Cooper lashed three fours and sixes in an entertaining 14-ball innings before holing out to deep mid-wicket off Tanvir off the final ball of the penultimate over.
Amazon Warriors then stumbled at the start of their run chase when they lost Luke Ronchi cheaply for one with the score on 20 in the fourth over but the left-handed Hetmyer took charge of the innings to remove any doubt over the result.
He smashed three fours and five spectacular sixes in a 30-ball knock, adding 41 for the second wicket with Delport and another 62 for the fourth wicket with Rutherford.