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August 23, 2013
Ramnaresh Sarwan, captain of the Guyana Amazon Warriors, has hailed his side's commanding showing in the semi-final of the inaugural Caribbean Premier League - they scored a seven-wicket victory over Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel in Port-of-Spain, with more than three overs to spare. Guyana's attack, bolstered by the arrivals of Tillakaratne Dilshan and Lasith Malinga, had T&T reeling at 32 for 5 inside 10 overs, and the eventual target of 104 was never a challenge.
"It was almost the perfect performance," Sarwan said. "What we wanted to do was put them in to bat and put them under pressure because [Kevin] O'Brien has been playing a big part at the top of the order and getting them off to a flier. With our bowling attack we had a good chance of getting him out and then grabbing another one or two [wickets], and we were able to do that."
Guyana's campaign seemed to have hit a speed bump when New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill injured his hand in the final group game in Antigua and Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez had to leave for national duty in Zimbabwe. Both batsmen were among the top ten run-scorers of the tournament. But Guyana's replacements - Dilshan and Malinga - ensured their side was not left wanting, picking up two wickets each, at well under run-a-ball in their first match. Dilshan also anchored the chase with a 29-ball 39, which included three fours and a six.
"We [him and Malinga] had to make it count," Dilshan said. "We were coming from a long way - more than 20 hours flying - and then playing a match within 24-hours' time, we had to make it count here otherwise it would have been a waste coming from there [Sri Lanka].
"I have really enjoyed my performance today, especially considering it was the semi-final. We are through to final - that was the main goal for us today. We have a day off so we can rest and come back on Saturday and play good cricket against whoever comes the final."
Curtly Ambrose, Guyana's assistant coach, said he had always known his side was capable of putting together a game like this. "I've been saying it right from the start, that we have a good enough team to win the tournament as long as we play proper cricket," he said. "We haven't played our best game up until today and I keep telling the guys there are two good games somewhere round the corner - this was one of them. So I'm hoping that we can bring our A game to the finals on Saturday and win the tournament."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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