Needing four runs from the last over, the fans at the Providence Stadium erupted as Sohail Tanvir launched a delivery from Dwayne Bravo into the Media Center down the ground for a six to book their spot in the final of the 2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League last night.
It is the Amazon Warriors fourth final in the sixth edition of the HERO Caribbean Premier League after they defeated the Trinbago Knight Riders by two wickets and one ball remaining in a low-scoring thriller last night.
Chasing 123 runs for victory after winning the toss, Guyana began their innings with Luke Ronchi dispatching Ali Khan’s third delivery into the long on boundary but the power play belonged to Knight Riders who struck twice with Fawad Ahmad removing Cameron Delport for two and Ronchi being undone by left-arm orthodox spinner Khary Pierre for 14.
The Warriors could only muster 23 runs in the period but recovered to post 126-8 in reply to Knight Riders’ 122-7.
The usually energetic crowd was muted as Warriors slipped further to 29-3 after Sunil Narine trapped Jason Mohammed leg before wicket for a 10-ball three.
The runs remained scarce for the Warriors as tight fielding and bowling restricted them to 37-3 at the halfway stage.
They must have been in a spot of bother seeing the required run rate lift to 8.6 runs an over.
However, they still had the 21-year-old Shimron Hetmyer and his new sidekick in Sherfane Rutherford.
The two had combined to see their team home in the final preliminary game against the same opponents Sunday night at the same venue and last evening it was déjà vu all over again.
Hetmeyer relieved a bit of pressure by going down on one knee and scorching the ball between the Green and Red Stand at square leg for the first six of the innings, testament no doubt to the difficult conditions for the batsmen.
An eventful 12th over saw Chadwick Walton hitting Pierre for two fours but the spinner blocked a push by Walton and returned to Dinesh Ramdin to find the batsman short of his ground for nine while Green, who promoted himself up the order, departed caught at slips two balls later to leave Warriors floundering on 52-5 as Pierre’s (2-18) spell came to an end.
The pair of Hetmyer and Sherfane Rutherford rotated the strike well and picked up good singles before Rutherford shifted gears with a late glide off Dwayne Bravo for a four followed by successive fours off of Khan.
With Warriors needing 47 from the last five overs, Rutherford stood and delivered, smashing the Knight Riders’ captain into the Red Stand at long off while Hetmyer swiped the final ball of the 16th over four a boundary.
The once silent crowd made a huge uproar when Hetmyer went down on one knee to clobber a Kevon Cooper delivery over wide long on for the largest six of the night and bring up the half century stand between the pair from 29 balls.
Scampering for a single, Hetmyer was short of his crease being run out for 39 from 36 balls and leaving the Warriors needing 21 from the last three overs.
Rutherford followed Hetmyer, holding out to long on for a 17-ball 30 while Rayad Emrit did not help the Warriors cause, chasing a wide delivery from Dwayne Bravo to be dismissed for one.
However, Romario Shepherd revived the hearts of many, hitting his first ball down the ground on the roof of the Media Center to bring the equation down to 12 runs from 12 balls.
Shepherd then glided the ball too third man for an important boundary, leaving the Warriors needing five from eight.
Earlier, Knight Riders were rocked early with Brendon McCullum and their leading run scorer, Colin Munro, both were dismissed without scoring, falling to Tanvir and Chris Green respectively.
Tanvir, however, was struck for three consecutive boundaries by Ramdin in the third over of the match before Ramdin was undone for an 11-ball 15, Tahir trapping the former Warriors skipper leg before wicket in an attempted sweep to leave Trinbago reeling at 26-3 after the fifth over.
Green returned to have Narine rocking back and miscuing a shot into the hands of Shepherd at short cover in a wicket-maiden sixth over as Trinbago ended the powerplay 26-4, their lowest total in the period this season.
Knight Riders were forced to labour for their runs with Darren Bravo and Colin Ingram seeing them to 42-4 with only four boundaries scored at the halfway stage.
But Bravo released the pressure, hitting a boundary after 45 balls and could have been back in the shed not long after had Tanvir not dropped him on 13 off of Emrit at mid off.
The 48-run partnership was broken as the aggressive Bravo edged Tanvir into the hands of Ronchi to fall for 24 from 33 balls.
The wickets kept coming with Shepherd pulling of a regulation catch at long on off of Emrit to remove Ingram for 25 from 26 balls and leave the Knight Riders in trouble at 86-6 at the end of the 16th over.
A difficult return catch could have had Dwayne Bravo on his way had it stuck in Shepherd’s hands while a no-ball for height off of Shepherd saw Knight Riders bringing up the century with 12 balls to go.
Cooper struck the first six of the match, hitting Tanvir into the mid-wicket region while Bravo struck Emrit for a six over long off in the penultimate ball before getting caught at short third man for 22 to see his side setting Warriors 122 to win. Green ended his four overs with 4-2 while Emrit and Tahir bagged two wickets for 22 and 38 respectively.
Tonight, Jamaica Tallawahs will take on St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots from 18.00hrs at Providence with the winner facing Knight Riders in the second eliminator in Trinidad and Tobago on Friday.
Quick Scores: Trinbago Knight Riders 122-7 (20 overs) Colin Ingram 25, Chris Green 2-8, Guyana Amazon Warriors 126-8 (19.5 overs) Shimron Hetmyer 39, Khary Pierre 2-18