Tanvir stays cool under pressure to put Amazon Warriors in final

Thursday, September 13, 2018

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) — Sohail Tanvir smashed captain Dwayne Bravo for a straight six off the penultimate delivery of the match as Guyana Amazon Warriors edged reigning champions Trinbago Knight Riders by two wickets in a dramatic finish, to storm into their fourth final of the Caribbean Premier League here Tuesday night.

Starting the final over requiring four runs after being set a tricky 123 to win on a spin-friendly surface at the Guyana National Stadium, the hosts looked to be squandering a golden opportunity when they managed a single run from the first four balls.

However, seamer Bravo then missed his length and Tanvir (10 not out), who had been held scoreless off the three previous deliveries, smashed the ball into the sightscreen, to spark scenes of jubilation around the venue.

Amazon Warriors, though, owed their victory largely to Man-of-the-Match Shimron Hetmyer, who top-scored with a mature 39, while Sherfane Rutherford was also superb with a stroke-filled 30 from just 17 balls.

It was their 50-run sixth-wicket stand which pulled Amazon Warriors back from the brink at 52 for five in the 12th over, and set them on course for victory.

Sent in earlier, TKR struggled on a difficult surface which was exploited by the slower bowlers and could only muster an inadequate 122 for seven off their 20 overs.

They were slumping at 26 for four in the sixth over until Colin Ingram struck 25, Darren Bravo, 24, and Dwayne Bravo, 22, to pull the innings around and get the total past three figures.

Captain and off-spinner Chris Green was brilliant, grabbing two wickets for eight runs from his four overs, while seamer Rayad Emrit (2-22) and left-arm pacer Tanvir (2-38) chipped in with two wickets each.

For TKR, it was their second defeat in three days to Amazon Warriors and they will now await the winner of yesterday's second play-off between Jamaica Tallawahs and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, for another chance at the final.

Those chances took a heavy blow when New Zealand batting star Brendon McCullum fell to the last ball of the first over without scoring, missing a flick into the leg-side and falling lbw to Tanvir with just five on the board.

Colin Munro followed in the next over also without scoring, tapping Green to cover and when Denesh Ramdin (15) and Sunil Narine (8) also departed cheaply, TKR were under the cosh.

The revival began with a 48-run fifth-wicket stand between Ingram and Darren Bravo – both of whom struggled to score – and continued in a 36-run, seventh-wicket stand between Dwayne Bravo and Kevon Cooper (15 not out).

In reply, Amazon Warriors were also in trouble early in their run chase when Cameron Delport holed out in the deep off leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed in the third over for two with the score on 10.

Fellow opener Luke Ronchi (13) and Jason Mohammed (3) followed cheaply leaving the hosts tottering on 29 for three in the ninth over and with the game suddenly in the balance.

However, the 20-year-old Hetmyer displayed maturity belying his experience, seeing off the TKR spinners before launching an assault on the faster bowlers deep in the innings.

All told, he faced 36 balls and struck a couple of fours and sixes, adding a vital 23 for the fourth wicket with Chadwick Walton (13) before partnering with fellow left-hander Rutherford – also 20 – in the pivotal stand which turned the game on its head.

Rutherford was equally savvy, stroking four fours and a six – a clean, straight strike off Dwayne Bravo in the 16th over – as he helped swing the pendulum Amazon Warriors' way.

Drama unfolded at the end of the 17th over, however, when Hetmyer was run out by Ingram's direct hit at the bowler's end and Rutherford picked out Dwayne Bravo at long-off off the very next ball.

On 102 for seven with 21 required from the last 18 balls, Amazon Warriors lost Emrit to the fifth ball of the next over with only three runs scored, but Romario Shepherd (13 not out) bludgeoned the last ball – the first he faced – over the ropes at long on to stun TKR.

Shepherd lashed medium pacer Cooper for a crucial boundary in the next over which went for eight before Tanvir added his magic at the end under pressure.

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