PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):
A thoroughly professional and clinical performance in the field and with the bat by the Guyana Amazon Warriors secured them a place in the finals of the inaugural Limacol Caribbean Professional League after beating Trinidad and Tobago by seven wickets in the first semi-final played at the Queens Park Oval on Thursday.
The Warriors' opponents in today's 7 p.m. (Ja time) final will be either Jamaica Tallawahs or Barbados Tridents. At press time last night both teams were in action in the second semi-final, also at Queen's Park Oval.
Red Steel were routed for 103 off 19.3 overs when sent in by the Warriors who then successfully chased down their target reaching 107-3 off 16.2 overs. Tillakaratne Dilshan, playing his first match of the league for the warriors was named Man of the Match, striking 39 from 29 balls with three fours and one six during the Warriors innings and picking up two wickets when the Red Steel batted for 14 runs off four overs.
Ramnaresh Sarwan hoisted Kevon Cooper for a boundary to midwicket to finish undefeated on 18, while William Perkins, playing his first match of the competition, scored 18 off 19 balls with three boundaries. Red Steel had their confidence lifted when Lendl Simmons was caught by Sulieman Benn pulling at Fidel Edwards for eight.
Perkins was caught at extra cover by Samuel Badree miscuing a flick off Sulieman Benn and Dilshan was deceived by a slower delivery from Cooper offering a tame return catch to the bowler. Sarwan and James Franklin came together to feature in an unbroken stand of 29 for the fourth wicket to steer the Amazon Warriors to the finals.
WICKETS IN PAIRS
When Red Steel batted they seemed to lose wickets in pairs - Adrian Barath and Darren Bravo with the score on 32, Kevon Cooper and Sulieman Benn at 101, Darren Bravo and Fidel Edwards on 103. Cooper, with two sixes in his knock, top-scored with 27 of 17 balls before holding out to James Franklin at long on off Sunil Narine. Dwayne Bravo, who got a fighting 26, was also caught by Franklin at deep cover off Lasith Malinga, another Sri Lankan getting a first taste of Caribbean Professional League cricket.
Apart from Dilshan's fine spell, the consistent Krishmar Santokie bagged two for 20 and Malinga ended with two for 18.