Tridents edge low-scoring affair
Bridgetown, Barbados - Sixteen wickets tumbled in 20.5 overs, and at the end of it, the Barbados Tridents had emerged victorious, just.
The power of the Twenty20 game doesn’t only allow for exciting high scoring affairs where teams chase down scores in excess 150 in 20 overs, but also defend very low ones. So was the case on Saturday night, as Dwayne Bravo’s Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel almost pulled off the improbable.
The Red Steel’s batting woes had been glimpsed in their first match against the Guyana Amazon Warriors. However, all doubt was removed on Wednesday night when the Barbados Tridents exposed fatal flaws in Red Steel’s batting line-up.
At the toss though, Bravo appeared to have confidence in his batsmen, winning the flip of the coin against his friend Kieron Pollard and electing to bat first.
Davy Jacobs and Justin Guillen struggled again to get going. Guillen had only faced three balls when he struck the ball to Shakib Al Hasan at mid-off, but in the context of the game, T&T Red Steel had only scored six runs from the first nine balls of the innings.
Credit belonged to the opening pair of Tridents pacers as well. Shannon Gabriel and Jason Holder bowled to a plan to every batsman. This was cemented when a short ball from Holder to Darren Bravo saw the left-hander pull straight to mid-wicket.
Jacobs, before that, had struggled to 13 from 12 balls. He struck a four and a six, but that couldn’t paper over the cracks that he’s started this tournament struggling.
Suddenly, the Red Steel were 25/3 just after four overs. Luck wasn’t with them either. Just an over after Darren Bravo was out, Ross Taylor was adjudged Leg Before off Shakib Al Hasan. The ball had hit his back leg, but had spun too much, and missed off-stump by some distance.
At that point, the Red Steel would have no idea that they would not double their score. Shakib had taken over the attack, and he was extracting turn and bounce. He troubled every batsman. Dwayne Bravo and Kevion O’Brien put on the best partnership of the Red Steel innings, taking the score from 29/4 to 40/5 before the skipper himself padded up in front to Shakib.
He would be the first of three victims in Shakib’s third over. Young batting sensation, Nicholas Pooran, came and tried to hit his first delivery over long-on. He survived by missing it. Two balls later though, He got an inside-edge to Pollard at short-leg.
Red Steel’s last hope, Kevon Cooper came in but only faced two balls. Shakib’s final delivery crashed into the stumps, completing a triple-wicket maiden over.
He would return in his final over to nab two more wickets in Samuel Badree and Kevin O’Brien. At the end of his spell, he had left the Red Steel tattering at 43/9, and he had finished with figures of 4-1-6-6.
Shannon Gabriel would return to wrap up the innings in the 13th over, getting Sulieman Benn caught at cover. The Red Steel had been bent, twisted, and broken down for 53 all out in 12.5 overs.
It was going to be an early night for all involved, or so it seemed. At the interval, it looked as simple as the Tridents showing up and celebrating the victory. This was further cemented when Benn conceded 20 runs off his first over.
That was over 37% of the runs already knocked off in just six balls. After Dwayne Smith’s single from the first ball, Benn got the second ball to turn and bounce, sharply, beating everyone for five wides.
Jonathan Carter ended the over with two massive sixes over deep mid-wicket, the second would earn him the award for the Limacol Super Six of the Match.
But as discreetly as Shakib had entered the attack, Fidel Edwards also strode in. In his first over, he would change the whole feeling of the occasion. He struck two blows, sending back both openers.
Smith’s boundary off the first ball had totally been forgotten. Barbados were 26/2. Still, it shouldn’t be a problem with eight wickets in hand. Make that seven, as Sulieman Benn struck in his second over. Shoaib Malik was caught at second slip. Bravo’s decision not to take off the spinner had paid off.
But Edwards was the man working the magic for T&T Red Steel. He ran in quick and had accurate Yorkers. He defeated Umar Akmal with a quick delivery just outside off-stump that the Pakistani would edge to Ross Taylor at slip. The Tridents had been reduced to 32/4.
In Edwards’ third over, he would stun Kensington Oval. His first ball saw Shakib play on. Then, of his fifth ball, Kyle Mayers left alone, and the ball brushed the pads on the way through. Billy Bowden sent him on his way.
An enthralling over for the visitors ended disappointingly. As Pollard and Nurse attempted a quick second run, a bad throw from deep third man, escaped Kevon Cooper at the non-striker’s end, and rolled away for four overthrows.
The score of 52 just wasn’t enough in the end, despite Benn and Edwards’ heroic efforts. As Edwards completed his spell, Nurse completed the match, whipping an attempted yorker that was too full wide of mid-on for 4. Nothing could take away from Edwards’ effort of 4-0-22-5.
There weren’t any mass celebrations from the Barbados Tridents. They had it at the back of their minds that if the Red Steel had scored 40 more runs, the Kensington fortress could have been stormed.
A lap of appreciation rounded off Barbados’ leg of the CPL matches, but there was an interesting lesson learned, that there aren’t any invincible teams in the tournament just yet, not even Barbados Tridents.
TT Red Steel 52 off 12.5 overs (Davy Jacobs 13, Ross Taylor 11; Shakib Al Hasan 6 for 6, Jason Holder 2/19, S. Gabriel 2/18)
Barbados Tridents 52 for 6 off 8 overs (J. Carter 14, K. Pollard not out 4, A. Nurse not out 10; F.Edwards 5/22)
Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel
D Jacobs c Shakib Al Hasan b Holder 13
J Guillen c Shakib Al Hasan b Gabriel 0
Darren Bravo c Pollard b Holder 1
R Taylor lbw Shakib Al Hasan 11
D Bravo* lbw Shakib Al Hasan 5
K O'Brien c Pollard b Shakib Al Hasan 9
N Pooran c Pollard b Shakib Al Hasan 0
K Cooper b Shakib Al Hasan 0
S Badree b Shakib Al Hasan 1
S Benn c Carter b Gabriel 6
F Edwards not out 1
Extras: (lb2, w3) 5
Total: 52 All Out (12.5 Overs)
Fall of Wickets: 1-6 (Guillen, 1.5 ov), 2-15 (Jacobs, 2.4 ov), 3-25 (DM Bravo, 4.1 ov), 4-29 (Taylor, 5.1 ov), 5-40 (Dwayne Bravo, 9.1 ov), 6-40 (Pooran, 9.4 ov), 7-40 (Cooper, 9.6 ov), 8-43 (Badree, 11.1 ov), 9-46 (O'Brien, 11.6 ov), 10-52 (Benn, 12.5 ov)
Bowling: J. Holder 4-0-19-2 (2w), S. Gabriel 2.5-0-18-2, Shakib Al Hasan 4-1-6-6, R Emrit 2-0-7-0 (1w)
Barbados Tridents innings
D Smith c Pooran b Edwards 6
J Carter b Edwards 14
Shoaib Malik c Taylor b Benn 5
K Mayers c Pooran b Edwards 3
Umar Akmal c Taylor b Edwards 0
Shakib Al Hasan b Edwards 1
K Pollard* not out 4
A Nurse not out 10
Extras: (b 1, lb 1, w 7, nb 1) 10
Total: 53/6 (8 Overs)
Did Not Bat: R Emrit, J Holder, S Gabriel
Fall of Wickets: 1-25 (Carter, 1.3 ov), 2-26 (Smith, 1.6 ov), 3-30 (Shoaib Malik, 2.2 ov), 4-32 (Umar Akmal, 3.5 ov), 5-36 (Shakib Al Hasan, 5.1 ov), 6-39 (Mayers, 5.5 ov)
Bowling: S. Benn 3-0-25-1 (1w), F. Edwards 4-0-22-5 (1nb, 2w), Dwayne Bravo 1-0-4-0.
Result: Barbados Tridents won by 4 wickets
Man of The Match: Shakib Al Hasan
Points: Barbados Tridents 2, Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel 0
Umpires: Billy Bowden (New Zealand) & Gregory Brathwaite (Barbados)
TV Umpire: Leslie Reifer
Match Referee: M Procter (South Africa)
Points Standing Post Match 5