Today’s semis in jeopardy
By Sean Devers in Trinidad
In association with Digicel
A day after over 17,000 fans jumped, danced and screamed as host Trinidad and Tobago, led by a wonderful 65 from the exciting Daren Bravo, beat Jamaica by 49 runs to top Zone ‘A’, the Queens Park Oval looked like a huge lake yesterday.
Tickets for yesterday’s double header, which included the feature match between inaugural champions Guyana and Barbados to decide the top zone ‘B’ team, were already sold out but torrential rain for most of yesterday condemned the Guyana game to a no-result meaning that Barbados topped the zone on a better net run rate. The other scheduled game yesterday was the encounter between CCC and the Windward Islands and while officials could have waited until 10:40pm to play a 5-over per side game, that game was also expected to be abandoned.
While leaving the ground in the wee hours of yesterday morning after Jamaica, replying to T&T 157-7, were bowled out for 108 in 17.1 overs, was a nightmare due to traffic congestion, getting to the ground yesterday proved problematic due to the torrential rain which flooded several streets in Port-of-Spain and left the Queens Park Savannah submerged.
The Queens Park Oval is one of the fastest drying cricket venues in the Caribbean after the Guyana National Stadium but yesterday dark, angry looking clouds and persistent rain well into the afternoon resulted in Guyana and Barbados sharing the points to finish on 9 points each from three matches.
Barbados however ended the preliminary round of the 8-team competition with a higher net run rate (+0.975) than Guyana (+0.361) as they joined defending champions T&T as the zone winners.
Guyana and Jamaica, who lost to T&T in the last final two years ago, will be praying for some action today since no alternative day is scheduled for the semis and if they are washed out the two respective zone leaders will advance to tomorrow’s Final.
It is unlikely that their prayers will be answered since more rain is forecast for today and the ground, which has already been affected by a football camp last week, has taken a battering from consistent rain in the Twin-Island Republic over the past month.
Sunday is the reserve day in the event that tomorrow’s final is also washed out and if there is again no play then T&T and Barbados will be
declared joint winners with T&T, who lost to New South Wales in the last Champions League Final in India last year, will qualify for September’s Champions League in South Africa by virtue of winning more matches in the preliminary round.
T&T were lucky to play on Wednesday evening after the Canada/Leeward Islands game was washed out and the Jamaicans could feel a bit hard done since the ground was indeed wet.
But there can be no excuse for the poor batting of the Jamaicans, even without the explosive Chris Gayle who was rested due to his groin injury after Krismar Santokie took 5-24 for Jamaica to join Guyana’s Lennox Cush as the tournament’s leading wicket taker with 8 scalps.
The ground staff tried feverishly to get the water off the ground even as the disappointed Guyana team watched on just beyond the water-logged boundary, but their efforts were aimed at getting at least the Finals played. Consistent rain did not help their cause.
Guyana, who preferred to face the well-oiled T&T unit in the final, would have wanted to beat Barbados yesterday to top their zone and in the unlikely event that there is cricket today the South Americans will have to face the host in the first semi-final from 4pm.
Jamaica and Barbados are scheduled to take on each other in the 2nd semi-final from 8pm tonight but prospects of play today, even if the boundaries are pulled in, don’t look good.
This is the hurricane season in the Caribbean and a tropical Wave also hit St Lucia washing all of the first round matches in the TCL Regional One-Day competition, including the game between Guyana and the Leeward Islands.
Guyana, who beat CCC and the Windward Islands in the Barbados leg of the competition, were favoured to get past Barbados yesterday after the Bajans just squeezed past CCC after their game ending in a tie and had an unconvincing victory against the Windward Islands.
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