Sylvester Joseph slammed his way to an unbeaten 63 from just 37 balls but it wasn't enough to take his side to victory, as Antigua and Barbuda fell 10 runs short of the target set by Guyana in the last quarter-final match in Coolidge. Electing to field first, Antigua rallied around debutant Chad Hampson to restrict the defending champions to 149 for 9 but stuttered in their reply, with only Joseph offering any appetite for a scrap.
Guyana began briskly thanks to Travis Dowlin, but Joseph removed Sewnarine Chattergoon (18 from 20 balls) with his offbreaks in the sixth over. Then Hampson, a right-arm medium-pacer in his first Stanford 20/20 appearance, struck twice to check the scoring rate. Only Dowlin, with 57 from 45 balls, kept the runs ticking over as the middle order slumped somewhat. Hampson removed Dowlin to finish with a very commendable 3 for 23 and Christopher Barnwell (26 from 16) used the long handle to get Guyana as near to 150 as possible.
In reply, Joseph and Orlando Peters (32 from 33) were the only players to reach double figures as Royston Crandon took 4 for 33. Another Crandon, opening bowler Esuan, and his new-ball partner Lennox Cush, struck early and Joseph found support wanting. From 25 for 3 he and Peters took the score to 66 before Royston got stuck in, getting Peters sweeping to Shivnarine Chanderpaul at short fine leg.
The very next ball, Justin Athanaze advanced down the pitch, but in his attempt to hit over mid-on, got a leading edge and Chattergoon took an easy catch at extra cover. Though Joseph survived the hat trick ball, Antigua slipped in further trouble when Mali Richards, son of Sir Viv Richards, was bowled by Royston. He added a fourth wicket with his offbreaks, Carl Simon, to leave Antigua on 98 for 8.
Though it came down to 29 runs to get in the final over, Joseph threatened Guyana with two huge sixes and a four off Neil McGarrell, who he had earlier hit out of the attack. In the end, however, Antigua could only manage 136 for 9. Joseph's brilliant innings, which included five sixes, one which cleared the southern stand for the Play-of-the-Day, and two fours off 37 deliveries, was a little too late. He was also named Man-of-the-Match and collected US$35,000 in total.
Guyana will now play Jamaica in next Saturday's semi-final, a day after Trinidad & Tobago face Barbados.