Round the wicket, zinging it on a length from outside off and Saim Ayub quite fittingly lashes it downtown and hits the winning runs. Guyana Amazon Warriors are CPL 2023 Champions!
And that concludes ESPNcricinfo's coverage of CPL 2023. It's been a fantastic six weeks of cricket, and we sincerely thank all of you for joining us throughout this season. On behalf of our team of commentators and scorers, I'm Rvel Zahid, signing off for one last time. We look forward to seeing you again in CPL 2024!
Imran Tahir receives the trophy. Celebrations in the Warriors camp as they pose with the trophy and smiles all around as the curtains comes down on the 2023 Caribbean Premier League season
Imran Tahir, Amazon Warriors Captain: Look, it's beautiful. It's been a great experience, been playing for this beautiful franchise and for these beautiful people who always come and support us. I am just really grateful to almighty. Coming into the competition, I think everyone sending jokes that I become a captain so I think actually those things motivated me so I actually wanna thank to people who said that. And also I want to thank to my family and all the players' families. They have been on the road with us. It's been a great journey, a very special journey. Also, want to thank Prasanna, he has been working every day, 20 hours a day and giving me all the plans. I am really really grateful to him. Also, wanna thank Ashwin from India, he said before the competition that we will do it. Thanks to my beautiful team who made me achieve what I always wanted to achieve. Thanks to our team owner, thanks to the president, they have been checking on us if we need anything, these things are very important. So yeah, look I am very very proud. If I told you that this is one of the greatest achievement I have, obviously this is a very very special moment for me and playing in CPL for last six years, I want to thank CPL and the way they organized this league has been beautiful and unbelievable. Very good competition. I want to congrats all the players who did well, youngsters, this is the platform they used, you see the youngsters coming through so yeah it's an absolute great league and getting tougher and tougher. (word on Lance Klusener and backroom staff) You never see these things because they always stay on back but they have been working really hard. Since we started from Saint Lucia, we always had the belief to reach the finals. Results never gonna be in our hand, but we knew the day we arrived, we gell in really well even though we never found the opener yet. Look this is the beautiful thing about our team culture, I am really grateful to every single player, they played their heart out, especially the last two games, they made my job easier. I am just really proud that I am the first captain to achieve this. I think this year we were more hungry than ever before, if you want something really badly, it will happen for you even though we lost our first qualifier, you know everyone saying about the toss and we did in both situations, we batted first and we won the games so the team belief was there. Result never guaranteed, the way we came back in the competition and I said one thing before we came here that we have been the best in the competition, no one can stop us if we play the brand of cricket we have been playing and that's all really. I am really really grateful for the support, love you all (in tears)
Kieron Pollard, Knight Riders Captain: Making 94 in first innings of a final was never going to be enough. I am disappointed with the result and a bit disappointed with the fellas. I thought we were spectacular throughout the tournament, we were beaten by the better team today, so well played Guyana. They have played consistent cricket and they are deserved winners tonight. Guys were injured, guys fought all the way to the end. Congratulations to support staff, tough luck on the result but sometimes in life, some people deserve things more than you and I think Guyana deserved more tonight. They have consistently played well, they finished on top of the log. they held their nerves and the way the played against Jamaica and came into this final, they were a better team. The fans came out to support them. I just wanna thank our fans as well all around the Caribbean. Obviously, I know the fans are disappointed, we are as well. But some people have to win some have to lose, we end up on the losing side. (we will come back strongly next year.
Shai Hope: Runs that contribute to win have been my focus. (most special knock) Probably hundred, first time I crossed the milestone in T20 cricket. I was just trying to score runs to win games and the tournament. Everything I did, they (support staff) always encouraged me, backed me to do my job and play my role. Just feels like a family, I am just happy to be in this franchise. (On Saim Ayub) I thought we both saw off each other well. He is a quality player, just love to see him bat. He is very easy on the eye and I hope he can continue going from strength to strength and probably get into that Pakistan team. Just a huge thank you (fans). You have been amazing, electrifying every single time we came to play here, you supported us through thick and thin and this is for you guys. Thank you.
Shai Hope wins the Player of the Tournament award for being the leading run-scorer this season, amassing 481 runs at an average of 53.44
Player of the match award goes to Dwaine Pretorius for his amazing spell of 4/26
The biggest six award goes to Rahkeem Cornwall for clobbering a 110 meters six
Alex Hales win the award for highest individual score
Best bowling figures goes to Waqar Salamkheil (4/14 versus Barbados Royals)
Shai Hope wins the highest run scorer of the season award
Rahkeem Cornwall wins the celebration of the tournament award for his iconic bat-drop celebration
Dwaine Pretorius: I have hit consistent lengths and got swing. Got a lot of backing from the team. The whole team has been superb throughout the tournament. Our bowling unit was superb. I think every cricketer goes out there to give their best. This time around, it went my way. I have to give a lot of credit to God, he gave me all the talent I have, and I am really really appreciative of that. Immy really backed me and (analyst) gave me proper plans. Lance...there were so many contributing factors.
Sixth time lucky for the Warriors as they finally cross the finish line after ending up as runners-up on five previous occasions. They richly deserved the title win, having been supremely consistent in the group stage, managing five consecutive wins and being superbly led by the aging warrior, Imran Tahir
Sana: "What a knock from Saim Ayub. A guy this young with this much talent is surely an asset. This is the first one of many to get.....More power to you."
Knight Riders only managed one wicket and faltered big time in this all-important final. Guyana's bowlers set up the game, restricting TKR to a mere 94 as the spinners applied a stranglehold. In reply, Ayub and Hope made short work of the chase and won by 9 wickets with 36 balls to spare
What a knock from Saim Ayub. It was a perfect innings in this low-scoring affair. Ayub was jumped all over by his teammates as he hit the winning runs and he is overwhelmed by emotions. A wide grin on Hope's face as well as Guyana fans as flags are flying high in the aisles. Stick around as we bring you all the coverage of the post-match celebrations!
Shai Hope: I just wanted to take responsibility and make sure I win games for the team. Thanks for the support (fans), we needed it. You have been with us. We got this one for you guys!
Saim Ayub: I don't know what to say I am too excited. We bring home the title first time and obviously the fans would be very excited. Our team was very lovely. This is for our fans.
Azam Khan: It's an unreal feeling playing at home. Guyana has a special place in my heart. I think it's for the Guyanese fans who waited for so long. I have never won a tournament before so Guyana this one is for you (chuckles)
Keemo Paul: Well, we have an amazing brotherhood in the team. Imran Bhai is all about staying close together, staying as a unit and staying as a family. I think the camaraderie was excellent.
Despair on one hand and joy on the other! Congratulations to Amazon Warriors and commiserations to Knight Riders who end up on the losing side. Imran Tahir is in tears and very emotional.
"This is special feeling, I am a really proud man, proud father. I love all the nation. I am really grateful to almighty. I had a belief in myself and I am really happy. Love everyone, says Imran Tahir
John: "Has there ever been a bigger choke in a final- Sad TKR fan"
Short of a length, strays on the leg side and Saim Ayub lifts his front leg and helps it on its way to fine leg for a boundary. Only two away as celebrations have already begun in Guyana camp. Squad is ready for the pitch invasion!
Spears it on a length and it zags away sharply outside off, wanted to slug that into the orbit but is beaten by the late seam movement. Just a hit away from making history!
Clobbered! Back of a length wide of off, stays deep in crease and pumps it over the bowler's head for a six! That was in his hitting arc and he doesn't miss out. Uses the depth of his crease and launches it many a mile!
Drills it down the ground and Pollard shows his soccer skills to cut it off while running across from long-on, that was hit straight like an arrow
On a length around the line off, punched sumptuously through point and he keeps using the deep pockets of the ground, finding another single
Looped up just outside off, pings an off-drive to long-off and gallops across to the other end
In the slot and strongarms it down to long-on, didn't quite get the timing he was aiming for
Tossed up quicker on a length and follows him as he shimmies down leg, ends up checking his shot down to mid-on
Length ball on off, makes room and slices a cut off the backfoot past backward point and they are dealing in ones and twos at the moment, only 17 from their maiden title win
A touch fuller on off, fluently driven on the up to long-off for a run
Tossed up a googly on middle and off, gently patted to cover
Darts in a thunderbolt on a hard length and it seams in sharply as he fends it off the backfoot between mid-on and midwicket
Majestic! Short ball into the body, plays an under-controlled pull to fine leg boundary. Uses the pace in his favor and guides it elegantly behind square on the leg side
Dug in short on an attacking off stump line, leans back, swivels and is through the pull early but luckily for him it lands in vacant area around square leg, adds two more giddy sprinting runs
Short of a length around middle and leg, tucked away to midwicket
Banged in a shortish length on leg, clips his thigh pad and rolls over to deep fine leg, he is asking the question for an lbw but didn't get a positive response from the umpire. That looked close but they don't send it upstairs, perhaps pitching outside leg
Short ball slammed into the pitch around shoulder height, falls over a touch but manages to tug it away to deep square
Deft touch! Goes short outside off and Ayub simply nurdles it fine of Ali Khan at short third for a scintillating boundary. Excellent use of his wrists to place it in the gap. How good has he been in this CPL? Carrying on his rich vein of form
Tossed up wide of off, dabs it away to short third where Ali Khan cleans up
|Providence Stadium, Guyana|
|Toss||Guyana Amazon Warriors, elected to field first|
|Player Of The Match|
|Player Of The Series|
|Series result||Guyana Amazon Warriors won the 2023 Caribbean Premier League|
|Match days||24 September 2023 - night (20-over match)|
Over 14 • GAW 99/1Amazon won by 9 wickets (with 36 balls remaining)