Led by Chadwick Walton’s responsible innings, the Trinbago Knight Riders have defeated Guyana Amazon Warriors by seven wickets to reach the final of the 2023 Republic Bank Caribbean Premier League.
Warriors will now have one more chance to reach the final of the 2023 CPL when they meet Jamaica Tallawahs on Friday at Providence.
Warriors posted 166-7 in 20 overs, and TKR reached 167-3 in 18.1 overs, thanks to the heroics of Chadwick Walton, who scored an unbeaten 80 from 57 balls in an innings laced with six fours and four sixes.
In the chase, TKR openers Mark Deyal and Chadwick Walton were off to a flying start, taking TKR to 56-1 in six overs before Deyal became the first man dismissed – for 15 from 11 balls – when he was trapped at the crease by the impressive Imran Tahir with the score at 41-1.
Walton and Pooran, in particular, played an array of shots to delight the packed Providence Stadium on a mid-week. At the half-way stage, TKR were 80-1 and sitting pretty, with Walton set on 33 and Pooran getting into his groove on 23. Pooran and Walton surpassed their 50-run stand in 40 balls, but some brilliance from Saim Ayub saw the wicket of Pooran falling for 33 from 24 balls, the left-handed Pooran having struck two fours and two sixes in his innings.
Walton then struck Tahir over his head as TKR reached 100 inside 13 overs. Captain Kieron Pollard then struck Motie for a six and a four in the 14th over to further strengthen the TKR position.
Walton reached his 10th CPL fifty from 44 balls in an important knock that held the TKR innings together.
Having struggled for the most part of his innings, Walton was put down on 50 by Shimron Hetmyer at the mid-wicket boundary, and he then took Motie down for 18 runs in the 17th over to rub salt in the wounds of the Warriors.
Captain Pollard, who made 23 from 15 balls, supported Walton in a 66-run partnership.
Pretorius was the pick of the Warriors bowlers with 2-36 in four overs.
Earlier, TKR won the toss and opted to bowl first. Romario Shepherd replaced Ronsford Beaton in the Warriors XI. Dwayne Bravo was among the big names returning, while Sunil Narine missed out due to illness.
It was a cautious start from the Warriors, as Ali Khan and Andre Russell hit the pitch hard. Saim Ayub broke the shackles with a six over mid-wicket off Russell.
In the eventful powerplay, Smith was dropped on 10 as Terrance Hinds and Chadick Walton collided to make a mess of a simple catch.
At the powerplay, Warriors were 42-0. After 6.5 overs, Warriors breached the 50-run mark. Smith made 15 from 18 balls before he was caught at mid-wicket of Akeal Hosein at 53-1.
Wrist-spinner Waqar Salamkheil then varied his pace and got the better of last match centurion Shai Hope, whom he took down for two. Hope was caught at long-on when the score was at 62-2 in 8.2 overs. Warriors were 69-2 after 10 overs with Ayub standing tall on 42 not out.
Salamkheil, who continued to mesmerise the Warriors batsmen, denied Ayub his fourth fifty of the season – Ayub being bowled for 49 from 39 balls when the score was at 90-3 from 12.5 overs.
Shimron Hetmyer partnered Azam Khan, and the duo were looking for a strong finish. However, the champion Bravo was sharp in the field, and he hit the stumps to remove Hetmyer for a duck. Warriors were then 91-4 after 13.2 overs.
Khan struck a huge 100-metre six as Warriors reached 100 inside 15 overs, but Hinds returned and found the outside edge of Khan’s bat to remove him for 36 from 27 balls, which included three fours and one six in his breezy innings.
TKR kept it so tight that after 16 overs, Warriors were 116-5. Dwaine Pretorius struck 15, but he played one shot too many and was cleaned up by Ali Khan with the score at 136-5 in 17.5 overs.
Shepherd contributed 16 runs from six balls, but it was Gudakesh Motie who took Warriors past 150. Motie took Ali Khan for 18 runs in the final over, as Warriors posted 166-7 in 20 overs. Salamkheil had 2-28 and Hinds had 2-32.
The CPL will continue tomorrow, Friday September 22, with the second Qualifier being played at Providence from 19:00h.