Dominant Red Steel surge into first CPL final
Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel 109 for 4 (Akmal 49, Darren Bravo 22) beat Guyana Amazon Warriors 108 for 9 (Simmons 64, Badree 2-9, Benn 2-24) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel brushed aside Guyana Amazon Warriors, outplaying them in all departments, to surge to their first Caribbean Premier League final. Their six-wicket victory over Amazon Warriors has set up a title clash with Barbados Tridents at the Queen's Park Oval on Sunday.
The Red Steel bowlers led the early charge for the side, as Amazon Warriors collapsed to 108 for 9 after a strong start. Amazon Warriors had opted to bat first and Lendl Simmons struck boundaries off the first two balls of the match to propel the side to 12 off the first over. Things, however, went rapidly downhill thereon.
While Jacques Kallis kept the batsmen quiet after Kevon Cooper had dismissed Trevon Griffith in the third over, it was the introduction of the spin trio of Derone Davis, Sulieman Benn and Samuel Badree that triggered Amazon Warriors' collapse and saw them lose four wickets in three overs. Benn, introduced in the eighth over, brought an end to Denesh Ramdin's scratchy effort at the crease, taking a comfortable return catch to dismiss the batsman for 6 off 15 deliveries.
Badree then struck twice in his first over, getting rid of Brad Hodge and Sunil Narine - promoted to No. 5 - within three deliveries. By the time Benn had Umar Akmal caught by Kallis at first slip, in the tenth over, Amazon Warriors had imploded from 50 for 1 to 56 for 5.
The spinners kept up the pressure after the quick breakthroughs and whatever momentum Amazon Warriors could generate thereafter came only off the bat of Simmons, who stuck it out at one end. By the time he was run out in the final over, Simmons had contributed 64 off 51 deliveries to a team score of 101, in an innings where the next best individual score was 12.
Amazon Warriors would have had their hopes up after Veerasammy Permaul bowled Red Steel opener Cameron Delport for 3 in the third over. Kamran Akmal's onslaught, however, decisively turned the game in favour of Red Steel. The batsman struck a four and a six off successive balls in Permaul's next over and then plundered five successive fours off David Wiese on either side of the wicket in a 21-run over. The second-wicket partnership between Akmal and Kallis was worth 41 runs off 23 deliveries, to which the South African batsman contributed only 4.
Akmal's charge had brought Red Steel's equation to a comfortable 61 off 84 deliveries and his 30-run partnership for the third wicket with Darren Bravo ensured the side never relinquished control. The pair were dismissed in successive overs - with Akmal falling on 49 to Narine - but Red Steel's chase was not affected too much as they sealed their place in the final in the 19th over.