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Barbados to face Jamaica

marciadottin, [email protected]

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PORT-OF-SPAIN – Barbados have a semi-final date with Jamaica in the Caribbean Twenty20 tournament at the Queen’s Park Oval tonight.The Bajans finished top of Zone B after their final preliminary match against Guyana was abandoned yesterday because of torrential rain.Jamaica took second place in Zone A after losing to Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday night to set up an 8 p.m. match-up against Barbados.The first semi-final, scheduled for 4 p.m., will bring together Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana, while the final and the third-place play-off are set for tomorrow.The prospects of the semi-finals and the final being contested, however look depressing, unless there is a dramatic change in the weather.Bleak weather descended on the Trinidad and Tobago capital around noon yesterday, and when it eased almost three hours later, the Queen’s Park Oval resembled a lake, rather than a premier sports facility.Both teams arrived at the ground about an hour before the scheduled start, but West Indies Cricket Board officials informed them half-hour later about the cancellation of the match. The two sides earned an equal share of four points, leaving them tied with ten in total, following victories in their other two preliminary matches against Combined Campuses and Colleges and Windward Islands.Barbados, however, finished in the top spot of the group with a superior net run-rate of +0.975, ahead of the Guyanese (+0.361).Yesterday’s second match between Windward Islands and Combined Campuses and College was also abandoned, at 6:20 p.m., well ahead of the 8 p.m. start, meaning that the estimated 9 000 ticket holders will be entitled to a refund.The heavy afternoon rains left the streets around the Caribbean’s biggest international ground flooded, bringing traffic to a crawl, and even stalling a few vehicles.Knee-deep waterMembers of the television crew beaming live coverage of the matches around the world had to remove their shoes to wade through knee-deep water to access their production room, where several pieces of equipment were under water, which prevented them from powering-up.The outfield was also so heavily flooded that the boundary ropes floated out of position, and the advertising hoarding ringing the ground was also knocked out of place.But the executive of the ground would feel somewhat satisfied since the drainage system installed underneath the turf ahead of the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean soon took effect, and a few hours later the surface water had disappeared.If the semi-finals are not contested, the teams will advance to the  finals based on net run-rate, meaning Trinidad and Tobago (+1.869) and arch-rivals Barbados would play in the final, and the third-placed match  will be between Guyana and Jamaica (+0.318).Should there be no play tomorrow, the matches would be replayed (re-started) on Sunday .If there is still no winner on the field of play, the winners will be the team with the higher net run-rate throughout the competition.