Ganga leads TT to tense win

St Augustine, Trinidad - Trinidad and Tobago beat the Combined Campuses and Colleges on the final morning at UWI Spec to take the full 12 points in the second round fixture of the WICB Regional 4 Day Tournament, but only just. Starting the final day needing 84 runs to win with five wickets in hand, every progress T&T made was met with resistance by the CCC.

Captain Daren Ganga and all rounder Imran Khan started positively, but after adding seven to his overnight score, Khan drove Carlos Brathwaite to mid-on to raise the CCC’s spirits just when it looked like the home side was taking the game.

T&T talisman Rayad Emrit entered the crease, not so much in unfamiliar circumstances, as only a week ago; he had to rescue T&T from first innings defeat against Barbados at Guaracara Park. Hopes of him repeating the heroics were snatched from T&T as Nkrumah Bonner took a splendid catch at mid-wicket to dismiss Emrit.

A fierce pull that had four written all over it was snapped up by Bonner inches of the ground, diving to his right, to give Brathwaite his seventh wicket of the innings.

At that stage, T&T still required a further 39 runs to avoid defeat. At the other end, skipper Ganga stood firm, playing a captain’s innings with very few faults. Together, he and Dave Mohammed put on a 14 run partnership before Mohammed, who had been growing in confidence played to silly point to give Bonner his third catch of the morning and Ryan Austin his first wicket. It left the ninth wicket partnership of Ganga and Amit Jaggernauth with 25 runs still to get.

An impressive Brathwaite refused to leave the attack, amid showing signs of tiredness, as he continued to look for the two remaining T&T wickets. Patiently, the ninth wicket pair set about attaining the 25 runs, running well between the wickets and Ganga shielding Jaggernauth from the spin of Austin. With 19 required, Ganga charged down the crease and hit Austin straight back over his head for six. As the scores tied, Ganga cut Kevin McLean through backward-point for four to seal T&T a hard fought victory.

Brathwaite’s figures of 25.3-3-89-7 are one of the best by a fast bowler in modern Caribbean cricket. Daren Ganga was named man-of-the-match as he finished unbeaten on 85, while Jaggernauth stayed with him on three.

T&T will need to up their game if they are get points from the impressive England Lions, when the two teams meet on Friday at the Queens Park Oval in Port of Spain. The CCC will be away to the Leeward Islands at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground also on Friday when Round three gets underway.

Combined Campuses & Colleges (131 & 250)
Trinidad & Tobago 1st Innings 164
Trinidad & Tobago 2nd Innings (134/5 Overnight)                      
Lendl Simmons c Kantasingh b Brathwaite 28     
Justin Guillen c Corbin b Brathwaite 41  
Runako Morton b Brathwaite 0   
Daren Ganga* not out 85*
Aneil Kanhai c R Reifer b Brathwaite 5
Denesh Ramdin+ lbw Brathwaite 0
Imran Khan c Bonner b Brathwaite 20
Rayad Emrit c Bonner b Brathwaite 11
Dave Mohammed c Bonner b Austin 12
Amit Jaggernauth not out 3*
T&T 221/8 in 62.3 overs
Extras (6b, 1lb, 3wd, 6nb) 16 
FOW: 1-74, 2-74, 3-77, 4-85, 5-93, 6-151, 7-179, 8-193
Did not bat: Shannon Gabriel.
Bowling: C Brathwaite 25.3-3-89-7 (1w,), G Moore 9-1-36-0 (2w, 1nb), K Kantasingh 1-0-12-0, R Reifer 2-0-13-0, R Austin 14-5-35-1 (5nb), K McLean 11-3-28-0.
Toss: Trinidad & Tobago won and bowled.          
Umpires: Peter Nero (Trinidad & Tobago) & Richard Illingworth (England) 
Match Referee: Hayden Bruce (Trinidad and Tobago)          
Reserve Umpire: Anthony Sanowar                  
Result: Trinidad & Tobago won by 2 wickets.