By Sean Devers in Trinidad
In association with Regal, Vnet,
Noble House Seafoods & Cascadia Hotel
Trinidad Red Force had undoubtedly the strongest team on paper in Zone ‘A’ of Regional Super50 tournament but Guyana Jaguars, who topped the zone, had the best ‘team’, the only bowler with a hat-trick and arguably the best Captain.
Jaguars had three batsmen in the top six run-scorers and two among the six wicket-takers with more than 10 wickets.
The Jaguars were without 21-year-old West Indies’ batting sensation Shimron Hetymer, Kemo Paul and Devendra Bishoo for the entire tournament and Guyana’s 30th ODI player Chanderpaul Hemraj, for the last five games.
The Jaguars looked the best prepared and fittest team in the Zone and finished with 29 points after losing their first game.
Their dominance was demonstrated by them winning all five of their games with a bonus point in a tournament severely affected by rain.
Jaguars (1) and Red Force (2) qualified for the semis in Barbados on October 25 & 26, while the final is set for Sunday at the Kensington Oval. Windies ‘B’ (3), Canada (4) and Volcanoes (5) finished in that order.
Chris Barnwell scored 255 runs with two half-centuries (61 not out & 99 not out) and is only behind Red Forces’ Nicholas Pooran (283) and Canada’s Naveet Dhaliwal (271) on runs aggregate in the Trinidad zone.
Opener Trevon Griffith (207 runs) with half-centuries, Raymond Reifer (217 runs: 3 fifties) and Sherfane Rutherford (121 runs with 1 fifty) who along with Hemraj (141) and Skipper Leon Johnson (107) were the Jaguars batsmen to reach 100 runs.
Hemraj only played three games before leaving for the ODI series in India and scored an unbeaten 103.
The Jaguars’ bowling was very consistent and was backed up by good fielding with Jamaican off-spinner Ramaal Lewis finishing with the third most wickets (12) behind Canada’s Romesh Don (17) and Windies ‘B’ Larry Edwards (13).
Berbician pacer Clinton Pestano, playing in his first full Regional season, proved to be one of the ‘finds’ of the tournament, bowling with immaculate control with good pace and both-way movement.
Only Don, among the pacers had more wickets than Pestano’s 11 and two back-to-back washed out games, possibly robbed him the opportunity of passing Don’s wickets.
One of the highlights of the tournament was Pestano’s hat-trick: He removed Lendl Simmons, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo in three balls to become the first Guyanese to claim a ‘50-over’ hat-trick and the fifth bowler to do so.
Rajendra Dhanraj was the first to achieve the feat in 1996, while Anthony Martin, Pollard and Sunil Narine were the others to do it.
Left-arm seamer Reifer (5 wkts) proved his all-round ability, while left-arm spinners Veerasammy Permaul (8) and Ricardo Adams (4) and Romario Shepherd (5) also bowled well for the Jaguars who were once again led astutely by Johnson.
The tournament was set in the middle of the rainy season and the Zone was marred by adverse weather which escalated into the worst flood here in 50-years resulting in five games being washed out including the last two rounds.
The live-stream commentary lacked in-depth research on the players and Countries involved, while Radio Stations were generally reluctant to ‘carry’ the broadcast due to lack of sponsorship.
The Trinidad zone was treated like a step-child with the coverage of the games here. CWI only distributed action photographs to Media from the Barbados Zone where there was live ESPN TV coverage of some of the games.
The tournament was played on contrasting pitches on two grounds. The Queen’s Park Oval was low and slow and favoured the spinners, while the ones at the Brian Lara Academy was better for batting with good pace and carry.
There was only three 300+ totals scored in both the Trinidad and Barbados zones and all of them were made at the Brian Lara Academy in South Trinidad.
Ironically defending Champions Windwards Volcanoes, who ended last this time, scored the highest total when they made 337-9 in 50 overs against Canada when Smith started the tournament with a century. Red Forces’ 318-9 against Windies ‘B’ and the Windies ‘B’ 302-8 against Canada were the other totals over 300 runs.
Three centuries were scored in zone ‘A’ with Volcanoes’ Devon Smith’s 132 being the highest with Hemraj’s unbeaten 103 and Windies ‘B’ skipper Marlon Samuels’ 101 the two other centuries.
Red Forces’ Nicholas Pooran (283), Canada’s Naveet Dhaliwal (271), Jaguars’ Barnwell (255), Red Force’s Lendl Simmons (235), Jaguars’ Reifer (217) and Jaguars’ Griffith (207) were the batsmen with over 200 runs in the zone.
The leading bowlers in zone ‘A’ were Canada’s Don (17), WI ‘B’s Larry Edwards (13), Jaguars’ Lewis (12), Alick Athanaze (11), WI ‘B’s Kaveem Hodge (11) and Jaguars’ Pestano (11).
Overall, Barbados Pride’s Jonathon Carter (351 runs) has the most runs from the Barbados zone, while Canadian pacer Don (17) had the most wickets in the Trinidad zone.
The most successful all-rounder is Leewards Hurricanes’ Rakeem Cornwall who has 214 runs so far including 125 not out and 13 wickets with his off-spin. The Hurricanes were scheduled to play their final game last night.
Apart from the three centuries scored in the Trinidad zone, Jamaica’s Chris Gayle and Jermaine Blackwood along with Cornwall have so scored centuries in Barbados.
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