Oct 23, 2011 Sports
Dynamic spin duo Sunil Narine and Samuel Badree shared all 10 wickets, setting up Trinidad & Tobago for a
comprehensive five-wicket victory over co-defending champions Leeward Islands in the Regional Super50 tournament yesterday.
Off-spinner Narine, playing in only his second One-day match for T&T, grabbed six wickets for 48 runs from 11.3 overs and leg-spinner Badree also collected a career-best four for 34 from his allotment of 12 overs, as the Red Force dismissed Leewards for 94 in 25.3 overs.
Kieron Pollard then struck four fours and two sixes from 20 balls in the top score of 34 not out and William Perkins made 22 to race T&T to victory with 213 balls remaining in their Group-B match in perfect conditions at the Guyana National Stadium.
The result revived the Red Force’s chances of reaching the semi-finals, after they stumbled in their first match last Thursday when Combined Campuses & Colleges beat them by five wickets at the Everest Cricket Club.
They gained eight points from this victory, scoring the statutory four plus two bowling points for dismissing Leewards for under 150 and two batting points for scoring at a rate above six runs an over.
This defeat effectively put Leewards out of the running. They now have minus-four points, following their second straight heavy defeat, after Jamaica crushed them by seven wickets last Thursday at this venue.
It was the second straight match that Leewards were dismissed for under 100 and the second time that they also allowed their opponents to score at a rate above six runs an over.
Narine and Badree gained very little assistance from the pitch, using mainly guile, flight, and variations to bamboozle the Leewards batsmen. Chesney Hughes made the top score of 25, but sadly for the Leewards, the new playing conditions that allowed T&T captain Daren Ganga to employ two bowlers for a maximum of 12 overs meant that there was no respite and the two spinners bowled unchanged.
Narine made the breakthrough in the sixth over, when left-handed opener Austin Richards Jr was bowled for 14, after he had started positively with a couple fours off Dwayne Bravo’s only over, the second of the innings.
Badree gave T&T a firm grip, when he had Montcin Hodge caught at mid-on for six trying to take the aerial route to the boundary and trapped Leewards captain Javia Liburd lbw for one playing defensively forward off successive balls, leaving the opposition wobbling on 29 for three.
The rot continued unchecked, when three more wickets fell for just 12 runs in the space of 48 deliveries, as Narine and Badree practically squeezed the life out of the Leewards’ batting.
Badree trapped Steve Liburd lbw for a duck playing back and across in the 11th over, Narine bowled Orlando Peters neck and crop with either an arm ball or doosra, and Jahmar Hamilton was bowled for one when he was beaten in flight moving down the pitch to Badree.
There was the usual batting bravado from the tail-enders with Justin Athanaze and Lionel Baker each hitting six, but the Leewards batting again came up short.
Typically, Perkins gave T&T a flourishing start, getting off the mark with the one-legged pull through square leg made famous by West Indies batting legend Gordon Greenidge.
He was just getting into the swing of things, after sweeping the first ball of the fourth over – by West Indies leg-spinner Anthony Martin in his second over – for four, pulling the third ball for another four, and lofting the fifth over long-off for six, when the feisty bowler responded to the challenge, bowling him behind his back with the last ball of the same over.
Justin Guillen looked fidgety at the crease and was caught at square cover off Lionel Baker for six driving loosely in the seventh over, but Pollard came to the crease and did what he does best, putting T&T firmly on track for a victory about 40 minutes before the time regularly scheduled for the interval between innings.
T&T’s batsmen got a little careless as they chased the bonus batting points and Martin snared four for 49 from seven overs.
But Pollard made sure T&T did not have to worry too much, formalising the result when he swung a delivery from off-spinner Justin Athanaze through mid-wicket for the last of his fours.
T&T face Jamaica on Monday at Everest to ultimately decide the group winner in the final round of group matches, when Leewards are down to meet CCC at this venue.
The tournament continues today, when hosts Guyana meet co-defending champions Barbados at Blairmont in the final round of Group-A matches which also sees Sagicor West Indies High Performance Centre face Windward Islands at the Everest Cricket Club.
Barbados and the HPC will be hoping for the same glorious weather that blessed the matches yesterday in the hope of getting a full game played to challenge for a place in the semi-finals.
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