Trinis are champs again

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Explosive batting led by Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard followed by crippling bowling coasted Trinidad & Tobago to their second straight Caribbean Twenty20 title on Sunday with a crushing 63-run victory over Jamaica.

Bravo smashed four fours and three sixes in the top score of 49 from 43 balls and Pollard was just himself, slamming one four and four sixes, supporting with 39 not out from 13 balls, as T&T posted a challenging 168 for five from their allocation of 20 overs in the Grand Final at Kensington Oval.
T&T’s bits and pieces bowling attack never allowed Jamaica’s typically free-scoring batsmen room to shake the shackles free and restricted the double-crown regional champions to 105 for five in their 20 overs.
It was the second time T&T defeated Jamaica in a regional T20 final and avenged their loss in the Regional Super50 final last October in Guyana, preventing Jamaica from becoming Triple Crown champions.
This was also the first major tournament that T&T have won under new captain Denesh Ramdin, following the controversial resignation of the long-standing Daren Ganga.
The biggest prize for T&T however, is a third trip to the lucrative Champions League T20 later this year in India, where they will face the World’s best T20 franchises.

T&T setback Jamaica early in the chase, when Nkrumah Bonner backed up too far, failed to get a response from fellow opener Danza Hyatt, and was run out for four in the third over.

Samuel Badree inflicted more pain, when he bowled West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels for a two-ball duck with a perfectly-pitched googly in the fifth over.

T&T continued to tighten their grip and reduced the Jamaicans to 57 for five in the 14th over and never allowed them to stage a fight-back.
With the equation growing more difficult with each passing delivery, T&T began to take things a little easier and Carlton Baugh Jr indulged himself, crashing five fours and two sixes to finish with the top score of 39 not out from 23 balls, putting on 48 unbroken for the sixth wicket with Shawn Findlay, not out on 17.

Earlier, it was Bravo and Pollard that enjoyed themselves to rescue T&T, after they wobbled to 65 for four in the 12th over. Openers Lendl Simmons and Adrian Barath gave T&T a rousing start, putting on 35 for the first wicket.

Simmons was caught behind off Odean Brown for 19 top-edging a cut before Andre Russell added the valuable wicket of Darren Bravo also caught behind for seven, leaving T&T 42 for two in the seventh over.

This brought the elder Bravo to the crease and he started confidently, steering Brown to third man for four and hooking Russell to deep backward square leg for another boundary.

Adrian Barath got himself in a tangle and was stumped off Brown for 21 before T&T captain Denesh Ramdin was bowled trying to cut to leave the T&T innings at the crossroads.

The elder Bravo found a Sunil Narine a stable ally and they put on 42 for the fifth wicket to assert T&T’s dominance.
When Narine’s cameo of 22 that included two sixes and a four came to an end, caught at third man off Jamaica captain Dave Bernard Jr in the 16th over, T&T were 107 for five.

Enter Pollard, but he played second fiddle to the elder Bravo, whose pyrotechnics continued with a six pulled over mid-wicket and a sliced drive to third man for four off successive balls from left-arm fast bowler Sheldon Cotterrell, and a trademark back drive over extra over off Santokie in the following over.

In between, Pollard was dropped on two, when Marlon Samuels muffed a skier at deep mid-wicket off Santokie in the 17th over.
Bravo was caught at long-off in the penultimate over off Cotterrell before the Jamaica left-arm fast bowler was suspended from bowling for delivering a second beamer which Pollard smashed baseball style back over his head for his first six.
The last over was pure mayhem with Pollard putting the left-arm medium-fast bowling of Santokie in its true perspective with talismanic batting.

He got two from the first ball, struck the second for four over mid-off and launched the next three deliveries for six between long-off and long-on before ending the rampage with another deuce.
Sun, 01/22/2012 - 19:12