League stage table-toppers Trinbago Knight Riders may have had an off day against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the first Qualifier, but they ensured the final would against the same opponents as they sealed their spot in the final of the Caribbean Premier League 2017 with a comfortable six-wicket win over Guyana Amazon Warriors.
In a game that had its ebbs and flows, the Knight Riders came out on top led by an unbeaten half-century from Colin Munro, whose love affair with runs against Warriors continued, after been given two lives on the night. Munro, who had scored an unbeaten 70 against them earlier in the season, added to that tally with an unbeaten 57 on the night after being promoted to open the batting in a chase of 160, which they scaled with 12 balls to spare.
After Sunil Narine once again failed at the top, and Hamza Tariq departed soon after, Darren Bravo injected momentum into the chase with a sprightly 27-ball 43 – with four sixes and two boundaries – to set the stage for a win as he collaborated with Munro for an 85-run stand for the third wicket at the Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad on Thursday (September 7).
Much was expected from Rashid Khan, who had picked up a hat-trick in the last game. He, however, returned with just the one wicket of Dwayne Bravo, albeit giving away just 23 in his four overs. He could’ve had Munro, but his skipper Rayad Emrit’s missed catch eventually cost the team a place in the final. Denesh Ramdin’s 18-run cameo eventually took them over the line in a chase they were always in control of.
The Warriors, who were playing their second game in successive days, were a side that erred on many accounts. None of their batsmen went on to play a long innings despite getting starts. As many as three batsmen were dismissed in their late 30s, unable to give the team that one big innings that the side needed in order to post an imposing total. Chadwick Walton’s 37 was sedate, Gajanand Singh fired towards the end, but Roshon Primus’s 18-ball 35-run cameo was vital in taking Warriors close to the 160-run mark which was a decent score on the track. Gajanand struck successive sixes off Dwayne in the 16th over, before Dan Christian was taken for as many as 21 in the 19th over by Primus, as Warriors scored 65 in their last five.
Knight Riders’ skipper, Dwayne’s bowling changes worked well for the team as they didn’t let the opposition batsmen settle, keeping them rather quiet in the powerplay. Although Narine hasn’t been firing with the bat at the top, picking up his fourth duck of the season today, he’s been right up there with the ball doing what he does best: pick up wickets and curtail the runs. He picked up two wickets in four overs, conceding only 21 runs.
Brief scores: Guyana Amazon Warriors 159/6 in 20 overs (Chadwick Walton 37, Gajanand Singh 39, Roshon Primus 35*; Ronsford Beaton 2-30, Sunil Narine 2-21) lost to Trinbago Knight Riders 160/4 in 18 overs (Colin Munro 57*, Darren Bravo 43) by six wickets.