Amazon Warriors clinch CPL play-off spot
...Knight Riders tumble out
Kieron Pollard (right) of Trinbago Knight Riders is stumped by Rahmanullah Gurbaz of Guyana Amazon Warriors during the Hero Caribbean Premier League match at Providence Stadium in Guyana on Saturday. (Photos: CPL via Getty Images)

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) — Guyana Amazon Warriors roughed up Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) to storm into the play-offs of the Caribbean Premier League late on Saturday, while condemning the multiple-time champions to their first-ever last-place finish.

Runaway preliminary stage leaders Barbados Royals, Jamaica Tallawahs and St Lucia Kings are the other teams to advance to the play-offs.

Asked to bat first at the Guyana National Stadium, the Amazon Warriors rallied to 173 for six off their 20 overs with Afghan opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz lashing his second-straight half-century with 60 off 42 deliveries.

In reply, the TKR's batting woes continued as they slumped to 136 all out from their allotted overs, finding themselves crippled by Amazon Warriors' spin trio of left-armer Shakib-al-Hasan (3-20), off-break bowler Junior Sinclair (2-26) and leg-break bowler Imran Tahir (2-31).

Junior Sinclair of Guyana Amazon Warriors celebrates during the Hero Caribbean Premier League match against Trinbago Knight Riders at Providence Stadium in Guyana on Saturday. (Photos: CPL via Getty Images)

Samit Patel struck 34 and Colin Munro, 30, but no other batsman passed 20, to leave TKR with their sixth defeat in 10 games and only seven points to show for their campaign.

They joined last season's champions St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in missing out on the play-offs.

"The way we have played throughout the entire tournament, we deserve to be in the position we are right now," said Captain Kieron Pollard, who made 13 to end the campaign with 132 runs from nine innings at an average of 14.

"To play ten games and as a batting unit first of all, not cross 160, I think that's disappointing to say in itself.

"And then from a bowling perspective, having teams on the back foot and giving it away in the back end, we deserve to be where we are in the table."

For Amazon Warriors, the victory was their third on the bounce lifting them into second on nine points, after they faced elimination at the start of their home phase.

"I would like to say fantastically well done to the boys. They really played hard for the three games that we've won so far, and I don't have enough words to express how great they were," said skipper Shimron Hetmyer.

"After having a bad time on the road, just to come home and lift their game and lift their spirit and enjoy each and every moment of it, I'm just really, really proud of them."

Amazon Warriors lost Chandrapaul Hemraj for four with six on the board in the second over but 20-year-old Rahmanullah galvanized the innings first in a 50-run, second-wicket stand with Shai Hope (14) and then in a 60-run, second-wicket partnership with Shakib who made 35 from 25 balls with four fours and a six.

After lashing half-dozen sixes, Rahmanullah perished in 15th over in a slide that three wickets fall for 16 runs in the space of 18 deliveries before Hetmyer (23) and Odean Smith, who struck three sixes in a seven-ball unbeaten 22, provided precious momentum towards the end in a 41-run, sixth-wicket stand.

TKR started their run chase nicely, Munro posting 32 for the first wicket with fellow New Zealander Tim Seifert (13) before putting on a further 36 for the second wicket with Samit who belted three fours and a six off 27 balls.

But things fell apart quickly. Munro skied Tahir to cover in the 10th over, Nicholas Pooran (1) was run out in the next over by Shakib's direct hit from mid-wicket and Samit top-edged a pull behind at the start of the 14th over, before the last six wickets tumbled for 36 runs.

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