Guyana reach CT20 final as they survive Dwayne Bravo's onslaught

Dwayne Bravo played the innings of a lifetime but he could not take Trinidad and Tobago to victory over Guyana in Semi-final 1 of the West Indies Cricket Board’s Caribbean T20 on Friday evening at Queen’s Park Oval. The Guyanese held their nerve to withstand Bravo’s onslaught, with off-spinner Royston Crandon taking three wickets in a thrilling last over. The talismanic right-hander brought the home side from the brink of defeat to near victory in 20 minutes of exhilarating strokeplay.

The crowd of 12 600 enjoyed every moment of it. He blasted one four and six sixes in 55 from 20 balls. On the other side, Crandon ended with 4-37 from his four overs as Trinidad and Tobago were bowled out for 171 in reply to 175-7 off 19 overs. The result meant that Guyana advanced to the CT20 final on Saturday at 8 pm, where they will face the winners of the second semi-final between Barbados and Jamaica. Trinidad and Tobago will play the losers in the third-placed play-off at 4 pm. The tournament winners will represent the region in the Airtel Champions League in South Africa in September.

At one stage Trinidad and Tobago needed 67 from the last 23 balls with four wickets standing. They appeared dead. Bravo responded in grand style, including an over from seamer Christopher Barnwell in which he struck 27 – a straight six, a cut to third man for four, another six over long-off from a full toss, a third six pulled overmid-wicket, a two long-on, and a three from an overthrow.

Next over Bravo continued to smoke the bowling with two straight sixes off Lennox Cush’s off-spin, but the same bowler made the vital breakthrough for Guyana, when he had Bravo caught at long-off by Jonathan Foo, who earlier held a catch inches from the turf to dismiss the dangerous Kieron Pollard.

After the match Bravo was crestfallen as he saw his hard work go down the drain. He had the consolation of taking the Man-of-the-Match award. “As a team we have nothing to be ashamed of. We tried our best but we came away on the losing end. We would have liked to have won here tonight and reach the final and have a crack at making the Champions League again, but that will not be,” Bravo said.

Guyana captain Ramnaresh Sarwan said: “It was a pressure situation and we handled the pressure well. I thought Bravo played a brilliant innings to bring Trinidad and Tobago back into the game but we kept our heads and deserved to win.”