Batting heroics from Qiana Joseph helped Barbados Royals book a spot in the Massy Women’s Caribbean Premier League (WCPL) final against Trinbago Knight Riders after beating the Guyana Amazon Warriors by four wickets in a thrilling winner-takes-all game on Saturday.
The Royals won the toss and put the Warriors in to bat and their decision was vindicated when they kept them to 100 from their 20 overs thanks to economical wicket-taking bowling from Shakera Selman who finished with figures of 2 for 16.
Despite Warriors’ openers Chamari Athapaththu and Rashada Williams racing to 21 from four overs, an all-round performance with the ball including some stunning catches meant the Royals went into the innings break on top and feeling it was score that they could chase.
In response, Hayley Matthews and Aaliyah Alleyne looked to make light work but a rush of wickets and some tight bowling meant it came down to some big hitting from Qiana Joseph to see them over the line and into the final.
They will now take on the Trinbago Knight Riders (at 2:30 p.m.), whom they recently defeated in the final of the SKYEXCH 6IXTY last week.
After being put into bat, the Guyana Amazon Warriors started quickly before the dangerous Athapaththu was dismissed by young Fatima Sana for 19 leaving the Warriors 34 for 1.
As if often the case, one wicket brings another and with just seven more added to the score Williams was bowled by Selman, leaving Stafanie Taylor and Shermaine Campbelle to put together a rebuild.
The pair looked to be finding their rhythm before a stunning catch from Britney Cooper sent Campbelle back to the dugout and the Warriors floundering on 83 for three after 17.
Another stunning catch from Alleyne saw the back of Nation and then with two run outs in the final over, the Warriors limped to 100 for seven from their 20.
Beginning the chase, the Warriors’ openers Matthews and Alleyne looked keen to get the chase done quickly and were 22 without loss after five overs before Gajnabi trapped Alleyne lbw with the first ball of her spell. She made it two-in-two as Cooper edged behind off the next ball.
Chloe Tryon and Matthews had a grip on the rebuild and when Stafanie Taylor dropped Matthews on 20, it seemed the Royals were racing at 59 for two from nine overs.
Making up for her mistake Taylor then caught Matthews who had only added two and a flurry of wickets led to a tight finish.
Runs began to dry up but batting power and bravery from Qiana Joseph, who scored 30 off 19 and sealed it with a six, gave the Royals the two points for the win and a spot in the final.
The Royals must now recover, refuel and prepare to return to competition in the final of the inaugural Massy WCPL on Sunday. (PR/SAT)