Rutherford, Gayle shine as 22 Yards, Atlanta Paramveers through to final

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By Avenash Ramzan

22 Yards stopped a rampant Somerset Cavaliers by eight wickets and Atlanta Paramveers defeated US All Stars by 19 runs in semi-final action of the US Open T20 tournament at the Central Broward Regional Park on Saturday.

By virtue of their victories, 22 Yards and Atlanta Paramveers will clash in today’s final at the same venue from 11:00h.

In the first semi-final, Guyana Amazon Warriors and West Indies T20 player Sherfane Rutherford made a welcome return to form as 22 Yards stunned the unbeaten Somerset Cavaliers, who were tipped as favourites, given their unbeaten run in the preliminary stage.

Chasing 133, 22 Yards slipped to 28-2 with openers Trevon Griffith (16) and Ahad Malek (10) back in the dugout by the fifth over.

Rutherford then joined Jamaican Andre McCarthy and they prevented any further inroads, adding an unbroken third wicket stand of 108 in 13.2 overs to knock Cavaliers out of the competition.

While McCarthy was sedate- his 35* took 42 balls and included three fours- the left-hander Rutherford showed glimpses of his destructive best, launching five sixes and three fours in 69* off 47.

It was the first significant score for Rutherford in 2020, having scored just 39 runs in seven innings for Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Hero CPL and a solitary run in two innings in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). In between, he warmed the benches throughout the IPL.

Notably, Rutherford has been tasting T20 title success of recent, having won the IPL with Mumbai Indians and a week later the PSL title with Karachi Kings.

Earlier, Cavaliers lost the in-form Guyanese opener Chandrapaul Hemraj, who came into the contest on the back of scores of 50*, 43 and 87, for just 10, before Kennar Lewis and Shawn Findlay scored 41 apiece in a total of 132-8.

Guyanese spin pair Ashmead Nedd and Devendra Bishoo took 2-17 and 2-31 respectively, while Asad Ali had 2-27.

In semi-final two, Gayle, T20 cricket’s leading runscorer and century-maker, lit up the tournament with 65 off 46 balls (2x4s, 6x6s) to lead Atlanta Paramveers to 163-8 against US All Stars.

Steven Taylor struck 31 off 28 and Darpan Patel 24 off 20, as Ali Khan picked up 4-25 and Ali Shafique 3-15.

US All Stars faltered early in the chase and were eventually limited to 144-7 when the overs ended with Rizwan Cheema getting 36 and Damien Rowe 29.

Bowling for Atlanta Paramveers, Taylor bagged 3-26 and Marquindo Mindley 2-20.

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