The undefeated Tridents began brilliantly yet again as Jason Holder produced a fantastic spell of quick and aggressive bowling to leave the Red Steel in serious trouble inside their batting Powerplay. Holder dismissed three players - Cameron Delport, Darren Bravo and Kamran Akmal.
All three batsman struggled to cope with the extra bounce that Holder extracted from this Kensington Oval pitch. Ravi Rampaul also chipped in with a wicket inside the first six overs, dismissing South African legend Jacques Kallis who mistimed a hook shot to lose his wicket for just one run.
Things only got worse for the Red Steel when William Perkins took off for a single only for Jason Mohammed not to respond to his call. He scampered back to the bowlers end but not quick enough to prevent him being run out by a yard. At the end of the Powerplay the Red Steel were 26-5. In last year’s CPL the Tridents bowled the Red Steel out for just 52 in this same fixture and for a while it looked like they might make even fewer runs this time.
Holder bowled all four of his overs in that one opening spell picking up outstanding figures of 3-11. His standing as an all-round talent continues to grow.
The rain arrived in Barbados and the umpires did their best to keep the players on the park but when a steady drizzle became a more consistent downpour they called a halt to proceedings with the Red Steel needing to regroup to get a total that they could hope to defend. Thankfully the delay was a brief one and when the game got underway the Red Steel managed a small rebuilding job as Dwayne Bravo and Mohammed put on 46 runs at a run a ball.
The stand was broken when Dwayne Bravo drilled the ball into the hands of Navin Stewart in the covers having made 30 off 28 balls. Mohammed didn’t last much longer, dismissed in the very next over. He had made 20 off 27 balls when he hooked Kieron Pollard to the waiting hands of Dwayne Smith.
Johan Botha looked to get the side up over 100 while attempting to bat out the overs. He made it to 14 off 22 balls before he was run out. He should have been dismissed for 13, caught on the boundary, but the catch was dropped by Holder. A decent throw from Holder saw the South African spinner run out off that very same ball.
The Red Steel finished on 95-9 off their 20 overs. It always looked a long way from enough to beat a Tridents team that are riding high in this year’s Hero CPL.
The Tridents made an absolute mockery of this target as Smith and Dilshan Munaweera found the boundary with ease in an opening stand of 72 off just 56 balls. The Red Steel’s lack of pace options was exposed early on as none of their seamers could find the bounce that had so troubled their top order in the first innings.
The Red Steel opened the bowling with Samuel Badree’s legspin and Munaweera was brutally dismissive as he drove them down the ground for two fours and a six in one over. While Munaweera was playing lovely drives Smith was pulling and hooking anything that was dropped short.
The Red Steel had a chance to end this opening stand when Kallis dropped Munaweera when the Sri Lankan was on 25. Even if that had been taken the Tridents were already halfway to their victory target with 14 overs to go.
Munaweera finished on 39 and Smith made 33 to demolish their opponents.
Although the Tridents lost both openers in successive deliveries to the bowling of Sulieman Benn they still progressed towards victory serenely as they made this chase look incredibly straightforward.
Barbados now have one more game at their home ground before they move on to St Kitts. If they win that they will be brilliantly placed to go a long way in this event.
Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart is feeling a bit better at this time following the improving signs of additional depth being shown by the national team as they countdown the final days before their opening CONCACAF Gold Cup clash with Guatemala on Thursday.
Hart was speaking after the 1-0 victory over Haiti on Friday at Central Broward Regional Park in Fort Lauderdale during which he had the opportunity to see Columbus Crew midfielder Kevan George and US-based forward Rundell Winchester in a starting roles alongside the likes of defender Mekeil Williams, Radanfah Abu Bakr and second half substitutes Kerron Cummings, Kadeem Corbin and Jonathan Glenn.
T&T were able to maintain a 1-0 advantage well into the second half until usual starting players Kenwyne Jones, Andre Boucaud and Khaleem Hyland entered play before going on to control proceedings for much of the second half and create further scoring opportunities.
Commenting on Corbin, Glenn and Winchester, Hart said they have all been exhibiting good energy levels.
“”They are three sort of dynamic players (and) they love to run behind. They are players that have good pace and energy. I think both Corbin and Winchester need to learn how to use their qualities better. Glenn is almost a pure finisher. He runs behind and he is very composed in the finishing. Overall I am quite pleased so far,” Hart told TTFA Media.
On the signs of depth, he added, “Yes. I thought Kevan George was outstanding against Haiti. He hurried, he picked up balls in the midfield and he cut out passes into the passing lane. He did everything and showed high energy. And then Hyland and Boucaud came on and settled us down and they moved the ball quickly, Of course they play differently. So yes it shows we have a bit of depth and variety in midfield.
The team will have a couple more sessions in Fort Lauderdale before jetting off to Chicago on Tuesday.
“I think we need to do a little more work tactically. Our mentality when the ball is lost to try and win it back, we still have a tendency to switch off on occasions. And even when some players are switched on the ones behind them are not picking up the outlet passes quick enough. We need to keep plugging away at the sort of the mindset of defending higher up the pitch and earlier,” Hart added.
A career best bowling performance from Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel captain, Dwayne Bravo, set up his side’s first win of this year’s Hero Caribbean Premier League against the Guyana Amazon Warriors. The Amazon Warriors were all out for 118 which seemed to be far short of what they needed. However, the Red Steel chase was far from straight forward as the Guyanese spinners made it very hard for their opponents. The game came down to the last over in a thrilling finish at Warner Park but the Red Steel snuck home.
A brilliant start with the ball from veteran all-rounder, Jacques Kallis, put the Red Steel in charge early on. The South African began with a maiden over and when he came back for his second he picked up two wickets in three balls – removing Tillakaratne Dilshan and Denesh Ramdin. At the end of his first two overs he had collected two wickets for the cost of just one run.
It wasn’t until Kallis’ third over that the Amazon Warriors were about the shake off the shackles as Brad Hodge and Lendl Simmons hit 15 runs off those six balls. It looked as if Hodge would move through the gears to get the Guyana innings back on track but he fell to a brilliant catch by Samuel Badree off his own bowling.
In a brave move, the Amazon Warriors promoted Sunil Narine to bat at five in a pinch-hitting role but it did not work out. While he struck a couple of boundaries during his 15 ball stay, the 14 runs he gave the side did nothing to reacquire the lost impetus. He fell trying to clear the long on boundary off Dwayne Bravo only to be caught by Cameron Delport.
The only man that managed to hang around was Simmons but he struggled to score at the kind or rate that would allow the Amazon Warriors to post a really competitive total. He managed to get to 50 off 47 deliveries before he was bowled by a Dwayne Bravo ball that he attempted to pull which kept lower than he thought.
It became a procession of wickets from that point onwards as Dwayne Bravo collected four victims for the cost of just 18 runs, his best Twenty20 bowling figures, as the Amazon Warriors stumbled to 118 all out.
The Red Steel chase began well enough, with Kallis looking like he would anchor the chase all the way to its conclusion. Delport departed early but Kallis had helped his side knock off half of the required runs before he was well caught by Christopher Barnwell for 20 off 21 balls.
When Darren Bravo departed in the next over it opened the door for the Amazon Warriors but Kamran Akmal quickly slammed it shut on his way to 30 off 17 balls.
Fresh from his brilliant bowling performance, Dwayne Bravo would have been hoping to be there when the winning runs were knocked off but a perfect Devendra Bishoo leg break spun past his outside edge hitting his off stump.
Akmal seemed to be playing on a different pitch from everyone else as he alone seemed to come to terms with the Warner Park surface. Just when he seemed to be under no pressure at all he attempted a cut shot off Bishoo that was juggled but then taken at first slip by Dilshan.
It was at this point that the chase began to seem a lot more difficult as Bishoo (4-24) and Narine (1-18) got the ball to turn and spit and wickets continued to fall. Having looked like they were cruising to victory the Red Steel just kept stuttering in their pursuit.
In the end Red Steel got home with one ball to spare as a Bishoo no ball drew the scores level and the resulting free hit was smashed for six by Kevon Cooper.
The win for the Red Steel means they are lifted from the foot of the CPL table and the Amazon Warriors replace them there. Both teams have games in hand but they will need to start putting some victories together to keep pace with the current leaders.