Port of Spain, 23 August
Former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik of Barbados Tridents has predicted that the Caribbean Premier League will become "huge" after the success of the ongoing inaugural tournament.
"After the IPL and the Big Bash League you can take this as third in the world and it is just the first year," said Malik, adding: "The response from West Indian fans has been awesome. Whenever you are playing a league it is about people coming to the ground, that is the key to success, and I have seen that here."
Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard endorse his opinion.
Malik has been one of the stars of the show as the leading batsman with 223 runs from seven innings, as well as three wickets.
Malik’s team, led by Kieron Pollard, play Chris Gayle’s Jamaica Tallawahs in the second semi-final on Friday.
"People have been coming from everywhere," said Malik, only 31 despite being a veteran of 32 Tests, 216 One-Day Internationals and 53 Twenty20 Internationals.
The CPL has given Malik a rebirth after he was dropped for Pakistan’s tour of Zimbabwe.
He has been a star in the CPL, both with the bat and ball, relishing pitches that have often assisted the slower bowlers. "I was struggling with my shoulder and my elbow but I have had surgery for my elbow and I have worked hard in the gym," he said, adding: "Now I am absolutely fine. I can even bowl 30 overs in one day. I am very happy and I want to play as an all-rounder, that is my priority."
Guyana Amazon Warriors outplayed Red Steel Trinidad Tobago, winning by seven wickets to enter the final. Sent in to bat, Red Steel were shot out for 103 in 19.3 overs and the Warriors then chased down the target in 16.2 overs, losing three wickets here on Thursday.
Tillakaratne Dilshan, playing his first match of the League for the Warriors, was named Man of the Match for his 39 off 29 balls with three fours and one six. He also picked up two wickets for 14 runs in his four overs. Brief scores: Trinidad Tobago Red Steel 103 in 19.3 overs (Dwayne Bravo 26, Kevan Cooper 27,Krishmar Santokhie 2/20, Tillakaratne Dilshan 2/14, Veerasammy Perumal 2/22) lost to Guyana Warriors 107 for 3 in 16.2 overs (Dilshan 39).