Barbados Tridents knocked out the defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders to set up a final showdown against Guyana Amazong Warriors in the Caribbean Premier League on Thursday. Riding on crucial contributions from Ashley Nurse and Raymon Reifer, the Tridents came out on top by 12 runs in a game of fine margins.
Batting first, the Tridents’ first half of the innings did not go as planned as, Alex Hales and Shakib Al Hasan fell early to the bowling of Khary Pierre, and JP Duminy hobbled off the pitch retired hurt, injured while trying to hit a six.
Johnson Charles, who was eventually dismissed on 35 lived a charmed life, and got two reprieves early in his innings, dropped by Denesh Ramdin in the first over of the night and then seeing a skied shot land safe after Lendl Simmons and Chris Jordan left it for each other.
With the Tridents at 74/3, things got worse for them two overs later when Jonathan Carter was spectacularly caught and bowled by Jordan, who flung himself to his left in his follow-through to pluck the ball from the air inches above the grass.
It was then time for Ashley Nurse and Raymon Reifer to step up, with both making cameos of 24* and hitting five sixes between them to propel the Tridents’ score to a respectable 160.
Sunil Narine got the TKR innings off to a flying start with four boundaries from Shakib’s opening over and, although he and Lendl Simmons both fell in the powerplay, the Knight Riders were well on course at 50/2 after six overs.
But the CPL’s leading wicket-taker, Hayden Walsh Jr picked up his 20th wicket of the tournament when Colin Munro reverse-swept straight to Nurse at short third-man to give Tridents a crucial breakthrough.
The game then swung back TKR’s way when Prasanna started smacking everyone to and over the ropes, but he was also at fault in the mix-up that led to the run out of Knight Riders skipper Kieron Pollard for 23.
Walsh Jr ended his spell of 2/31 with three dot balls, though, and Harry Gurney delivered at the death once again with a superb 19th over that gave up just six runs and brought the wicket of Jordan.
That left Prasanna and the Knight Riders needing 14 from the final over with two wickets in hand. When Reifer pinned Prasanna with a millimetre-perfect yorker to start that final over, a topsy-turvy game finally looked settled. Pierre was then caught by Alex Hales at long-on two balls later, sparking scenes of wild jubilation in the Tridents camp.
The final will be played on Saturday, 12 October.