Trini bat steals show

CRAIG COZIER,

Added 22 September 2012

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WILLIAM PERKINS dazzled in a boundary-studded 57 off 34 balls as Trinidad and Tobago made light work of a competitive target to beat a Barbados Cricket Association’s President’s XI by eight wickets in the second Twenty20 practice match Thursday night at Kensington Oval. The 25-year-old blasted seven fours and four sixes as Trinidad romped home with 23 balls to spare. Burly left-hander Martin Nurse struck 55 off 47 balls to anchor the President’s XI’s total of 148 for four off 20 overs. Captain Shamarh Brooks contributed an unbeaten 25 off 14 deliveries towards the end. But Perkins provided the few hundred spectators with a treat, his  stroke-play bringing back memories of his success in the two Stanford tournaments in 2006 and 2008 that earned him one cap for the West Indies. He left Adrian Barath in his wake but their opening stand of 94 in 63 balls set the platform for a comfortable coast to 150 for two off 16.1 overs. Barath helped himself to an unbeaten 38 off 39 balls while former West Indies Under-19 batsman Evin Lewis hurried the finish with 34 off 17 deliveries with four fours and two sixes. The left-handed Lewis, now 20, produced some delightful strokes, one pull clearing the Greenidge & Haynes Stand at square leg, to underline his rich potential. Renaldo Brathwaite, the 21-year-old Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme all-rounder, was the only local bowler to escape punishment, claiming one for 16 from four overs. Earlier, Brathwaite and Nurse gave the President’s XI a decent start after the home team won the toss and opted to bat. Brathwaite struggled for fluency in 13 off 17 balls before he had his off stump knocked back by left-arm spinner Yannick Ottley, with Barbados reaching 41 for one after six overs. Nurse forged further useful stands with Shai Hope and Marrodon Bend. Hope played two magnificent cover drives for four in making 15 off 16 deliveries before he was run out after a mix-up, while Bend was less convincing, his 14 coming off 22 deliveries when acceleration was needed. Nurse’s 50 came off 45 balls but he never fully found his timing. He was bowled behind his back trying to scoop pacer Shannon Gabriel, who then pouched a fantastic running catch off a Kevon Cooper delivery Bend top-edged to leave Barbados on 115 for four in the 18th over. Brooks, generally rated as a touch player, showed off his power, hitting two fours and a six as 33 runs came off the last 16 deliveries. But Perkins quickly turned the pursuit into a stroll, launching Derrick Bishop for two straight sixes in his first over and continuing to pepper the boundaries before a run-out cut his innings short with victory in sight.

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