Trinbago Knight Riders and St. Lucia Zouks sailed through to the Caribbean Premier League final with comprehensive wins over their respective opponents on Tuesday.
The Knight Riders continued their unbeaten run in the tournament, defeating Jamaica Tallawahs by nine wickets at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Trinidad. A few hours later, at the same venue, St Lucia Zouks razed Guyana Amazon Warriors for 55 and collected a 10 wicket win.
Warriors lost wickets from the get-go and the procession never halted, as four of the six bowlers used grabbed two wickets each. The rot began when opener Brandon King and No. 3 Shimron Hetmyer were dismissed for a duck in the first over of the innings, by New Zealand fast bowler Scott Kuggeleijn. Only three batsmen reached double figures with the highest of 25 (26b) scored by opener Chandrapaul Hemraj as the Warriors were bowled out in the 14th over.
The Zouks got to their target within five overs, openers Raheem Cornwall (32 n.o., 17b) and Mark Deyal (19 n.o., 10b) remaining unseparated. Deyal’s all-round performance - he also took two wickets for no run in the one over bowled with his off-spin - earned him the player of the match award.
Knight Riders’ spinners laid the foundation for the team’s win in the first semifinal as they unsettled the Tallawahs after they were inserted in. After left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein made a dent by removing Jermaine Blackwood in the first over, the Knight Riders kept chipping away at the opposition. A partnership of 38 runs between Nkrumah Bonner (41, 42b) and Romain Powell (33, 35b) halted the slide for the Tallawahs briefly after they were reduced to 25 for 4 in the fifth over.
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However, they couldn’t kick on for a big score.
Besides Hosein, spinners Khary Pierre, Sunil Narine and Fawad Ahmed were among the wickets.
The Knight Riders reached their target of 108 for the loss of just one wicket and with five overs to spare. Lendl Simmons scored an unbeaten 54 (44b, 6x4, 2x6) and No. 3 Toin Webster scored an unbeaten 44 (43b, 6x4, 1x6).
The final will be played on Thursday at the same venue (Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad).