“Stand still and deliver.” That is all Leeward Islands Hurricanes skipper Jahmar Hamilton kept telling himself when he launched a match-winning onslaught on a depleted Trinidad and Tobago Red Force bowling attack, knocking the hosts out of the Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 Cup with a close four-wicket win in the semifinal at Queen’s Park Oval on Friday night.
Hamilton stepped up at the right time for the Hurricanes, blazing an unbeaten 78 off just 34 balls as they secured their passage to today’s final, in which they will take on West Indies Emerging Players at the same venue from 1.30 p.m.
After bowling well to restrict the hosts to 268 for eight after they had gotten off to a solid start, the Hurricanes held their nerve to reach 269 for six, with three balls to spare, thanks in large part to Hamilton’s heroics.
He came to the middle in the 39th over with the score on 165 for five and dealt in sixes, smashing eight of them to go with three fours as he made the Red Force pay for giving him a life when he was on 33.
The 29-year-old opened his account against Red Force skipper Imran Khan, smashing the leg-spinner for three sixes and a four in an over that cost 26 runs.
The Anguillan then smashed Akeal Hosein for a six before trying to clear long on again. Instead, he found Darren Bravo, who got into position only to drop the catch.
The next ball was sent over the ropes for another six by Keacy Carty and from then on, the chase was under control.
“It was a good knock tonight for me, and I came through for the team,” Hamilton said afterward. “My aim was just to stand still and just deliver what I had to deliver. Really and truly, my game plan was just to see ball, hit ball. So it didn’t matter where they bowled tonight, I was just in that type of mood.”
He also felt that the Hurricanes would have been able to chase anything the Red Force had put up on the night.
“From the start of the tournament we have been chasing well and anything they got tonight, I feel that (we) would have gotten it. They were off to a flyer and we pulled it back in the end but anything they made, I backed my team to get it,” Hamilton added.
Red Force openers Jeremy Solozano and Tion Webster had put the hosts in a good position for a huge total, adding 99 for the first wicket before Solozano was out caught for 30.
Webster went on to make 91 before missing out on a century for the second time in the tournament. With 18 overs to go, the 24-year-old opted to try and hit Sheeno Berridge out of the ground, only to be caught by Amir Jangoo. He struck four sixes and seven fours and faced 120 balls.
Meanwhile, Bravo departed for 34, also trying to clear the ropes, while Jason Mohammed scored 59 off 55 balls, striking one six and six fours to take the score past 250.
Phillip then raised the total a bit higher, hitting a six and two fours for his unbeaten 14 off three balls.
In the end, the Red Force were still short of a winning total.
Looking ahead to the final Hamilton, having seen the Emerging Players’ victory over Barbados Pride in the first semi, insisted they were not a team to take lightly.
“They put on a good performance and we are not going to take them for granted. We are going to come and put our best foot forward against them,” he concluded.