Turning pitch not to blame for defeat, says Bravo

Trinbago Knight Riders captain Dwayne Bravo reacts during his side’s playoff defeat to Guyana Amazon Warriors on Tuesday night. (Photo courtesy CPL)

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – Skipper Dwayne Bravo has refused to blame the slow, turning turning pitch for Trinbago Knight Riders’ two-wicket defeat to Guyana Amazon Warriors, in the first playoff in the Caribbean Premier League here Tuesday night.

While conceding conditions at the Guyana National Stadium had been difficult, Bravo said TKR had also failed to make the necessary adjustments and had only themselves to blame for the loss.

“Obviously here in Guyana, you don’t expect the wicket to play like the MCG or the SCG so it’s challenging but we’re professional cricketers and whatever is prepared and laid in front of us, both teams have to play on it so I can’t use the wicket as an excuse,” Bravo said following the game.

“It’s not a 150-[run] wicket. If we had assessed better as a batting group, maybe 135-140 [would have been possible]. Here in Guyana it’s always a slow, turning wicket … our spinners made it difficult for them as well so I think that gave us a lot of courage and a lot of heart.

“We have another game (Friday’s semi-final) up our sleeves and we look forward to that. We have what it takes to bounce back. We’re not going to use the surface and conditions as an excuse. Well played to Guyana – they played well – and I’m happy with the effort my team went out there and [gave].”

Sent in, TKR struggled to cope with the turning track and could muster only 122 for seven from their 20 overs, with Colin Ingram the top-scorer with 25 from 26 balls while the usually fluent Darren Bravo required 33 deliveries for his 24.

Captain Chris Green exploited the conditions beautifully, proving a handful in four overs of off-spin which yielded two wickets and only eight runs.

Amazon Warriors’ run chase was far from straightforward, however, slumping to 29 for three in the sixth over and then 52 for five in the 12th over, as the spin trio of off-spinner Sunil Narine, leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed and left-arm spinner Kharry Pierre dried up the scoring.

And though Man-of-the-Match Shimron Hetmyer, who top-scored with 39 off 36 balls, and Sherfane Rutherford (30) put on 50 for the sixth wicket to rescue the innings, Bravo said he was still proud of the manner TKR went about defending such a small total.

“It was another good game of cricket despite the conditions but I’ve got to give credit to my team, the bowlers – the way they went out there and tried to defend 123,” the all-rounder explained.

“It’s always a hard task to defend 123 but [for Amazon Warriors] to get the runs in the last over [with one ball left] I think the guys fought very well and I give them a lot of credit.”

With the victory, Amazon Warriors qualified for Sunday’s final while TKR will await the winner of yesterday’s second playoff between Jamaica Tallawahs and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots for another chance to reach the championship match and defend their CPL title.

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