TAROUBA, Trinidad (CMC) — Opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul and Shimron Hetmyer both struck form at the ideal time as Guyana Harpy Eagles thrashed Jamaica Scorpions by seven wickets in their final preliminary game of the Super50 Cup here Saturday to secure their spot in next week's semi-finals.
Needing nine points to overtake West Indies Academy for the final spot, Harpy Eagles bundled out the winless Scorpions for a paltry 181 to gain three valuable bonus points, before comfortably chasing down a revised target of 184 under Duckworth-Lewis-Stern, after the game was reduced to 47 overs per side due to a length rain break.
Test star Chanderpaul, with a highest previous score of 30 in his last five innings, top-scored with 77 off 110 deliveries with eight fours while fellow left-hander Hetmyer, with just 83 runs from six innings in the tournament, punched an unbeaten 62 off 53 balls with five fours and two sixes.
"It's no secret that we've been struggling a bit with the bat," said Tevin Imlach, in his first game as captain.
"It's good to see them back among the runs. They've been short of runs in the tournament but peaking at the right time hopefully."
With the result, Harpy Eagles moved into fourth place on 34 points, joining Leeward Islands Hurricanes (44), Trinidad and Tobago Red Force (40) and Barbados Pride (37) who had already qualified.
West Indies Academy narrowly missed out with 33 points in fifth, while Combined Campuses and Colleges finished sixth with 29 points.
The semi-final matchups will be confirmed Sunday following the final preliminary game between Red Force and Pride.
Dethroned title-holders Scorpions, meanwhile, finished rock bottom on seven points without a win, losing six of their seven outings.
"It's hard for me now to pinpoint one or two things [behind our poor performance]," said a dejected Captain Rovman Powell.
"But we can go back to the batting — the batting haven't [stood] up all season. Last night I was laying in bed and when I look around [in my mind] we have about five or six half-centuries in the entire team. At this level, that is unacceptable.
"And when you look on the bowling aspects of things, we can count maybe one or two times where a bowler [got] three or so wickets for us.
"And when you look on the fielding aspect of things, we dropped catches at crucial intervals, so all in all it's been a disappointing season."
Brad Barnes top-scored with 36, Powell got 33 while Chadwick Walton chipped in with 26 as the Scorpions folded cheaply after choosing to bat first at the Brian Lara Stadium.
Walton and Nkrumah Bonner (20) put on 39 for the second wicket, Powell and Andre McCarthy (23) added 53 for the fourth but a middle-order slump that saw four wickets tumble for 13 runs off 45 balls, sealed the Scorpions demise.
Barnes belted a couple of sixes in a 53-ball knock, posting 30 for the ninth with Shalome Parnell (13 not out) but he was one of two wickets to fall in the final over from pacer Nial Smith (3-26), to give Harpy Eagles the crucial early bonus points.
"With the bonus points system, it's a game within a game," said Imlach.
"Going in, we knew we needed about nine points and having gotten three points already was always going to make it a lot easier for us with the bat."
Off-spinner Kevin Sinclair captured three for 48, while medium pacer Sherfane Rutherford (2-38) and left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul (2-38) finished with two wickets apiece.
Sinclair (7) was an early casualty of the Harpy Eagles run chase, holing out to mid on in the fifth over, but Chanderpaul held the innings together, posting 86 for the second wicket with Imlach (30) and 63 for the third wicket with Hetmyer.