Rutherford, Hetmyer fireworks help Warriors finish second

Sherfane Rutherford and Shimron Hetmyer’s combined assault on Trinbago Knight Riders helped Guyana Amazon Warriors set-up a re-match for the two sides in CPL 2018 Qualifier 1 the next week. The pair’s destructive knocks, 45 not out off 13 and 59 off 30 helped Warriors polish off the 155-run target with 5.5 overs to spare and overtake Jamaica Tallawahs on NRR to claim the second spot on the points table.

Warriors began well with the ball as well, and sustained the pressure to keep Knight Riders to a manageable 154 for 7 off their allotted overs. The visitors had lost their top-three, all foreign recruits including the destructive Kiwi pair of Brendon McCullum and Colin Munro, inside the powerplay for just 23 runs on the board.

Knight Riders fought back through contributions from the middle order, led by the in-form Denesh Ramdin. The keeper steadied the ship with a run-a-ball 31 before getting out. He added 54 runs in partnership with Darren Bravo, who top scored with an unbeaten 42 off 34. Darren also put together a 39-run stand with Kevon Cooper, which was though a one-way attack from the latter who hit three sixes and as many boundaries in his 14-ball cameo worth 30 to lend some respectability to the total.

While Warriors were playing for the two points, a win inside 15.3 overs would have guaranteed them a place in Qualifier 1 and a direct route to this year’s final. At 61 after 7.4 overs in the chase, at which point they lost their second wicket, Warriors seemed to have lost sight of the second-spot finish, but Hetmyer and Rutherford switched gears soon after to change the script.

Cooper came under the attack in the 10th over with a well-set Hetmyer hitting 6-4-6 off the last three balls to propel Warriors’ score to 86 for 2 at the halfway mark. Jason Mohammed fell immediately thereafter trying to give Hetmyer a hand in sustaining the attack, but Rutherford wasted no time in making his intentions clear. Nikita Miller’s over, that started with a wicket for Knight Riders, turned sour in the space of three deliveries, all dispatched for sixes by the new batsman.

The pair did not look back and, as if, took turns in the next couple of overs to seal the deal. Hetmyer continued the onslaught by hitting another pair of sixes and boundary, this time off Anderson Phillip, to notch up his half-century off just 24 deliveries. Rutherford too repeated his three-sixes-in-an-over act off Dwayne Bravo in the following over, taking Warriors to 146 for 3. Hetmyer fell in the 14th over, bowled by leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed, but Rutherford hit the winning runs with a boundary off the first ball of the 15th over, to complete a handsome win over the team they’d be facing off against in two days’ time for a direct entry in the final.

Brief scores: Trinbago Knight Riders 154/7 in 20 overs (Darren Bravo 42*, Denesh Ramdin 32, Kevon Cooper 30; Rayad Emrit 2-25, Sohail Tanvir 2-36) lost to Guyana Amazon Warriors 158/4 in 14.1 overs (Shimron Hetmyer 59, Sherfane Rutherford 45*; Fawad Ahmed 2-20) by six wickets.

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