West Indies power hitter Rahkeem Cornwall has steered St. Lucia Zouks to what has been described as “one of the most comprehensive victories in the history of T20 cricket,” securing victory in their Caribbean Premier League (CPL) semi-final after just 27 balls of the run chase, according to Cricket Network.
Facing a Guyana Amazon Warriors side featuring New Zealand star Ross Taylor, three West Indies internationals and Australian Chris Green, the team’s captain, St. Lucia on Tuesday chased down their modest victory target of 56 in just 4.3 overs, Cricket Network said.
It said Cornwall opened the batting for St. Lucia and finished unbeaten on 32 from just 17 balls, with the winning runs coming with 93 balls remaining.
“It’s the largest margin of victory in terms of balls remaining in the history of major T20 franchise competitions, beating the previous record of 87 balls in Mumbai’s IPL (Indian Premier League) win over Kolkata in 2008,” the network said. “In all T20 cricket, it’s the equal seventh largest victory margin; the all-time record is Austria’s win over Turkey with 104 balls remaining in 2019.”
In terms of international matches featuring a Full Member nation, Sri Lanka’s win over the Netherlands with 90 balls to spare at the 2014 T20 World Cup remains a record, the network said.
Sent into bat by the Zouks, Guyana lost two wickets in the opening over – including West Indies star Shimron Hetmyer for a first-ball duck, bowled leaving a length delivery – as the Amazon Warriors were bowled out in the 14th over, the network said.
It said Afghanistan spinners Mohammad Nabi (1-6 from three overs) and Zahir Khan (2-12 from 2.4), who both played in the KFC BBL last summer, led an impressive bowling performance from the Zouks, with the wickets shared by six different bowlers. Eight of the 10 wickets to fall were taken by spinners.
In reply, the network said Cornwall smashed Green for two sixes in the opening over before he and fellow opener Mark Deyal took 13 runs from Imran Tahir’s first over, meaning almost half of the runs required had been wiped off after just two overs of the chase.
Cricket Network said Cornwall had earlier taken a superb one-handed diving catch to remove Tahir, moving quickly at slip and diving full length in scenes reminiscent of Dwayne Leverock’s memorable catch at the 2007 World Cup.
St. Lucia have now advanced to the final on Thursday to face the unbeaten Trinbago Knight Riders, who have won 11 consecutive matches in the tournament, the network said.
It said Tuesday’s result continued Guyana’s frustrating record in the CPL. It said the Amazon Warriors have never finished lower than third in the tournament’s eight-year history but have never lifted the title.