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Simmons leads Warriors to victory over Red Steel
The water yesterday did not come from the clouds as was expected in Guyana Tuesday night but from the eyes of the T&T Red Steel players, as they missed a golden chance of going straight into the final of the Hero CPLT20 Tournament, going under to the Amazon Warriors by seven wickets.
The loss was made even bitter by the fact that the victory was orchestrated by one of their own countryman in Lendl Simmons. The right hander was given a reprieve by Dwayne Bravo with his score on five and by the third umpire Nankumar Shivsankar a little later on and was able to score 65 not out off 51 balls with five fours and three sixes, to lead the Warriors to 118/3 off 17 overs, as they overhauled the Red Steel’s 117/8 off their 20 overs. Cameron Delport scored 44 for the Red Steel who struggled on a poor T20 pitch at Providence.
The Warriors win means that defending champions Barbados Tridents go directly into Sunday’s final. The Red Steel finished its campaign on 11 points the same as Amazon Warriors but the Guyanese team finished ahead of them and into second place.
Red Steel, who finished third in the standings, will now play fourth-placed Jamaica Tallawahs in today’s knockout and Guyana will await the winner of that match for the semi-finals on Saturday at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port-of-Spain.
Set just 118 runs for victory, Warriors took control after an opening partnership of 54 between Simmons and Assad Fudadin. Although skipper Denesh Ramdin went cheaply, Simmons stayed the course and brought home the victory, with assistance from Australian Brad Hodge who made 33. After being dropped by Bravo off Derone Davis, Simmons was given not out by Shivsankar after television replays clearly showed the batsmen getting a leading edge back to Johan Botha but the he decided it was a ‘bump ball’.
Earlier, Bravo won the toss and decided to bat first, given the nature of the track to slow down as the match progresses. His main act in the opening role Jacques Kallis could not deliver for him this time around as he was out in the second over, caught behind off fellow South African Marchant de Lange for three. Javon Searles then came and went soon after and at 19/2, Red Steel needed to rebuild.
Delport took the lead and batted well striking boundaries regularly as he adapted well to the surface. He and Darren Bravo was able to get 44 runs from the powerplay with lightening flashing regularly over the Green Stand. However the lightening was also coming on the field from the pacy De Lange who then sent back the inform Bravo for three to kill off the momentum he and Delport were building as they had added 36 runs from 4.3 overs.
Delport then dumped part-timer Hodge into the stands for six and next ball punched him fiercely to Simmons at cover who took a brilliant catch, sending him back for 44 off 30 balls, including six fours and a six.
The key to the match was how well Red Steel batted in the middle overs and with the ball turning square, Dwayne Bravo and Botha found scoring really difficult. They added 15 runs from 4.3 overs when Sunil Narine sent back Bravo leg before for five.
At 80 for five, the next man in was Kamran Akmal who brought with him all his experience of playing on turning tracks in Pakistan but he too was undone by a big leg-break which found his top edge.
Scoring remained difficult and towards the end Botha finally fell for 22 off 33 balls with two fours. The best of the Warriors’ bowlers was De Lange with 4/23.
Red Steel vs Warriors
Red Steel inns
J Kallis c Ramdin b de Lange 3
C Delport c Simmons b Hodge 44
J Searles c Barnwell b de Lange 6
DM Bravo c Ramdin b de Lange 3
J Botha b Bishoo 22
DJ Bravo lbw Narine 5
K Akmal c Permaul b Bishoo 10
K Cooper c Wiese b de Lange 10
D Davis not out 1
S Badree not out 3
Extras: (4b, 1lb, 5w) 10
Total: for 8 wkts 117
Fall of wkts: 7, 19, 55, 65, 80, 97, 111, 113.
Bowling: V Permaul 4-0-20-0, M de Lange 4-0-23-4, S Narine 4-0-17-1, D Wiese 2-0-21-0, B Hodge 2-0-12-1, D Bishoo 4-0-19-2.
L Simmons not out 65
A Fudadin c Cooper b Bravo 9
D Ramdin st Akmal b Botha
B Hodge b Bravo
U Akmal not out 3
Extras: (3w) 3
Total: for 3 wkts (17ovs) 118
Fall of wkts: 54, 62, 114.
Bowling: S Badree 3-0-21-0, D Davis 3-0-27-0, S Benn 4-0-17-0, D Bravo 3-0-22-2, J Botha 3-0-15-1, K Cooper 1-0-16-0.
Result: Amazon Warriors won by 7 wickets.
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