Guyana Amazon Warriors booked their place in the 2018 Caribbean Premier League final after edging past Trinbago Knight Riders by two wickets in one of the best CPL thrillers in Providence.
Rain throughout the day had created difficult batting conditions for the playoff clash. But the Warriors’ heroes Shimron Hetmyer and Sherfane Rutherford combined again to rescue Guyana’s chase of the Knight Riders’ 122/7 from the depths of 52/5 after 12 overs.
Having got the target down to 21 from 20 balls, both Hetmyer and Rutherford fell in successive balls to leave the game back in the balance. When Rayad Emrit edged Dwayne Bravo to Denesh Ramdin for just a single, the momentum appeared to have lurched decisively the way of the Knight Riders once more with 18 runs still needed from 13 balls and just two wickets remaining.
Romario Shepherd had other ideas, though, launching his first ball for a huge six down the ground and adding another boundary in the next over to leave the Warriors needing just four runs from the final over.
Still this extraordinary game was not quite done. Just one run came from the first four balls of Dwayne Bravo’s final over to leave the equation standing at three runs needed from two balls.
Sohail Tanvir then brought the curtain down on a memorable night’s cricket with a thumping strike down the ground for six to spark scenes of jubilation at a charged Providence Stadium.
It had been a similar story with the bat for the Knight Riders top order, on the back foot almost from the word go after being asked to bat first and slumping to 26/4 inside the powerplay.
Skipper Chris Green had both Colin Munro and Sunil Narine caught in the cover ring after being deceived by a lack of pace from both bowler and pitch.
The man who would later so memorably finish the game, Sohail Tanvir, had landed his first blow by winning an lbw decision against Brendon McCullum in the first over, while Imran Tahir was off and running after Ramdin misread the length and was trapped plumb in front.
Darren Bravo and Ingram attempted to rebuild, adding 48 in nine overs with just four boundaries.
Ingram did manage to squirt another boundary down to third-man off the toe of the bat, but perished soon after for 25 from 26 after smacking an Emrit full-toss straight to Shepherd at long-off.
Cooper was the one Knight Rider to make batting look easy, stroking his first ball through cover for four and hitting the first six of the innings in the penultimate over.
Dwayne Bravo added another in the final over before falling to the final ball of the innings.
Dwayne Bravo and his side must now regroup for their second shot at a place in the final when they take on either Jamaica Tallawahs or St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in Friday’s Semi-final.