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T&T win Caribbean T20

Haydn Gill

T&T win Caribbean T20

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TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO’S carnival celebrations have started more than a month early.
A huge party unfolded at Kensington Oval on Sunday night after the new Caribbean Twenty20 cricket champions were crowned in grand style.
Already assured a trip to the lucrative Airtel Champions League in India later in this year before a ball was bowled, Trinidad and Tobago’s cricketers added the tidy sum of US$62 500 after a giving English county Hampshire a sound thrashing by 36 runs in the final before an electrifying atmosphere.
If their 147 for seven was by no means an imposing total, they defended it with tremendous intensity from the first ball. At no stage in the chase did England’s Twenty20 champions look like they were competing and could only manage 111 for eight.
When Star-of-the-tournament Lendl Simmons and flavour of the tournament Darren Bravo were together entertaining a crowd of more than 7 000 in a second wicket partnership of 77 from 52 balls, the expectations among those in the ground would have been for a total of around 180.
The momentum dipped over the last ten overs which produced 67 runs compared to 80 that came from the first half of the innings.
Trinidad and Tobago, however, fired back at Hampshire right away, with pacer Ravi Rampaul, fast and direct, sending down a maiden at the start and leg-spinner Samuel Badree grabbing the key scalp of big-hitting Johannes Myburg in the second that cost only one run.
The pressure was sustained all the way through and immediately after the last ball, Trinidad and Tobago players raced to grab stumps as souvenirs, while the reserves and support staff sprinted onto the field to join their teammates for one big celebration.
While they were at it, a group of about 30 dancers in white dresses got to down to business and a band with a host of percussion instruments also made its way onto the arena. When another bunch of dancers in costumes came on moments later, Kensington in Bridgetown on a Sunday night could have been mistaken for the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port-of-Spain on Carnival Monday and Tuesday.
By the time all the formalities were out of the way, a packed Party Stand lived up to its name well until the wee hours of Monday morning.
Trinidad and Tobago, the only unbeaten team in the tournament, had to make do without injured captain Daren Ganga, but stand-in skipper Denesh Ramdin led the troops outstandingly.
Man-of-the-Match Bravo stroked 41 off 28 balls with five fours and two sixes in another gem of a knock in which he repeatedly lifted the ball down the ground. Yet again, Simmons was a perfect foil during his 31 off 32 balls but when both fell to catches at long-off within five runs of each other, the brakes were applied on the scoring.
As fast bowler Simon Jones, medium-pacer Benjamin Howell and left-arm spinner Danny Briggs combined to stop the flow of runs, Trinidad and Tobago couldn’t find the boundary until Ramdin smashed three in the 19th over.
It is rare to see any side taking as many as 12 balls to score a run at the start of an innings in this form of the game, but Hampshire endured the misery against the tight Rampaul and Badree.
Trinidad and Tobago also set a high standard of fielding apart from when Adrian Barath missed a head high chance at backward point that let off Jimmy Adams but he made up for it with a wonderful pick-up and throw to the keeper’s end from short third-man to run out the Hampshire captain before he profited.
The depth of Trinidad and Tobago’s line-up was also highlighted when fast medium bowler Kevon Cooper had to leave the field temporarily after he was struck on his hand by a firm stroke.
Ramdin called up Jason Mohammed, a batsman who trundles uncomplicated off-breaks to bowl one ball of the unfinished over and he responded with a wicket immediately, grabbed a second and gave up only six runs from 2.1 overs.
As the overs went by, Hampshire lost wickets at regular intervals and by the time the final five overs started with the tourists needing 72 runs with four wickets in hand, it was obvious that the Caribbean Twenty20 Trophy would be remaining in the West Indies.
A. Barath c Vince b Briggs    2
L. Simmons c Vince b Howell     31
D. Bravo c Ervine b Briggs     41
J. Mohammed b Wood     13
R. Morton c Vince b Riazuddin     11
*+D. Ramdin run out     33
S. Ganga c Dawson b Howell     1
K. Cooper not out     4
Extras (b1, lb3, w7)     11
TOTAL (7 wkts – 20 overs)     147
Fall of wickets: 1-2 (Barath, 0.5 overs),
2-79 (Bravo, 9.3), 3-84 (Simmons, 14.5),
4-102 (Mohammed, 14.3), 5-112 (Morton, 16.3), 6-120 (S. Ganga, 17.1), 7-147 (Ramdin, 19.6).
Did not bat: S. Badree, S. Narine,
R. Rampaul.
Bowling: Briggs 4-0-9-2, Jones 4-0-20-0 (w4), Riazuddin 4-0-44-1 (w1), Wood 3-0-35-1 (w1), Myburgh 2-0-21-0, Howell 3-0-14-2.
*J. Adams run out     16
J. Myburgh b Badree     0
 J. Vince b Mohammed     23
S. Ervine S. Ganga b Mohammed     16
L. Dawson c Barath b Cooper     6
B. Howell not out     28
C. Wood c Morton b Cooper     2
H. Riazuddin b Rampaul     3
S. Jones b S. Ganga     2
+M. Bates not out     5
Extras (lb4, w2, nb4)     0
TOTAL (8 wkts – 20 overs)     111
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Myburgh, 1.2 overs), 2-38 (Vince, 6.6), 3-42 (Adams, 8.2),  4-59 (Ervine, 10.5), 5-66 (Dawson, 12.5), 6-75 (Wood, 14.5), 7-92 (Riazuddin, 16.5 overs), 8-99 (Jones, 17.5).
Did not bat: D. Briggs.
Bowling: Rampaul 4-1-25-1 (nb2), Badree 4-0-15-1 (nb1), Narine 3-0-24-0 (w1, nb1), Cooper 3.5-0-15-2 (w1), Mohammed 2.1-0-6-2, S. Ganga 3-0-22-1
Toss: Trinidad and Tobago.
Result: Trinidad and Tobago won by 36 runs.
Star Of The-Match: Darren Bravo.
Star Of The Tournament: Lendl Simmons.
Umpires: Norman Malcolm (Jamaica), Gregory Brathwaite (Barbados).
TV replays: Billy Doctrove (Dominica). Fourth official: Goaland Greaves (St Vincent).
Match referee: Adrian Griffith (Barbados).