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T&T Red Steel storms into CPL final
On Friday night they would have been confined to their homes after the jailbreak in Port-of-Spain but last night the fans were dancing on the streets of Port-of-Spain, as the The T&T Red Steel defeated the Guyana Amazon Warriors by six wickets to book a place in the finals of the 2015 Hero CPL T20 tournament at the Queen’s Park Oval.
This evening at 4.30pm they return to the Mecca of local cricket to battle the defending champions Barbados Tridents in the Championship match.
The local team bowlers were excellent on the night restricting the Amazon Warriors to 108 for nine off their 20 overs and at that point the game was as good as over.
Chasing 109 off 20 overs in front of their home crowd was not going to be a hard task and try as hard as the Guyana bowlers did, they could not create an upset.
The early loss of Cameron Delport would have given them hope but Jacques Kallis used up all his experience to hang around on the turning pitch until the score advanced to 48. He left the arena for just eight but was there to see Kamran Akmal the star of the batting last night, smash 21 runs from a David Wiese over that effectively gave the team visions of glory.
Akmal played positively until he went back to mystery spinner Narine and was bowled for 49. He faced 41 balls hitting seven fours and a six. Prior to his dismissal Darren Bravo also left for 22 with two fours and two sixes to help seal the Guyanese faith.
Earlier, Denesh Ramdin won the toss and decided to take strike. Simmons started well by hitting two beautiful fours underlining his rich form. Griffith joined him and the ball beating started.
However, Kevon Cooper put a halt to it when he sent back Griffith for five. Ramdin came in and batted sensibly in forging a 31-run partnership. He picked the singles, Simmons picked the boundaries and the massive crowd was kept quiet.
However, Ramdin was outfoxed by Sulieman Benn and the Warriors horror story began. Benn and his spin twin Samuel Badree engineered a collapse that turned the Oval into a party centre. Four wickets fell in the space of six runs and the innings was crippled. Brad Hodge (4), Sunil Narine (0) and Umar Akmal (0) all joined Ramdin in the dugout before he could have settled into his seat.
Simmons all the while was staging a one man show and when he got past 35 he reached 1000 runs in CPL cricket. Needing to bat out the middle overs in order to stage a late innings charge, the Warriors lost the plot, when Chris Barnwell was run out for 12. The pair added 21 runs in five overs to keep the Red Steel at bay.
After this dismissal Guyana needed Simmons to bat through which he nearly did, being run out in the final over for 64 but the bowling was too accurate for him or the lower order to cut loose. Simmons faced 51 balls and struck eight fours in his mature knock.
Red Steel vs Warriors
L Simmons run out*64
T Griffith c Botha b Cooper*5
D Ramdin c & b Benn*6
B Hodge DM Bravo b Badree*4
S Narine b Badree*0
U Akmal c Kallis b Benn*0
C Barnwell run out*12
D Wiese c & b Bravo*5
V Permaul c Searles b Bravo*1
M de Lange not out*2
D Bishoo not out*2
Extras 2b, 4lb, 1w*7
Total for 9 wkts (20ovs)*108
Fall of wkts: 19, 50, 55, 55, 56, 77, 87, 101, 101.
Bowling: D Bravo 3-1-19-2, J Kallis 3-0-16-0, K Cooper 4-0-14-1, D Davis 3-0-20-0, S Benn 4-0-24-2, S Badree 4-1-9-2.
Red Steel inns
J Kallis c Akmal b Bishoo*8
C Delport b Permaul*3
K Akmal b Narine*49
DM Bravo c Simmons b de Lange*22
DJ Bravo not out*8
J Mohammed not out*17
Total for 4 wkts(18.3ovs)*109
Fall of wkts: 7, 48, 78, 85.
Bowling: V Permaul 4-0-20-1, M de Lange 4-0-16-1, D Wiese 2-0-32-0, D Bishoo 4-1-15-1, S Narine 4-0-23-1, L Simmons 0.3-0-3-0.
Result: T&T Red Steel won by 6 wkts.
T&T Red Steel qualifies for the finals.
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