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Two in a row

Philip Hackett

Two in a row

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Trinidad and Tobago became the first team to win back-to-back Caribbean T20 titles, doing so in emphatic fashion with a 63-run victory over Jamaica.
A crowd, estimated at close to 10 000, squeezed into Kensington Oval Sunday night and watched as the Trinis annihilated the Jamaicans in a clinical all-round display.
So confident were the defending champions that they opted to bat first after winning the toss, despite the fact that both semi-finals and the third place play-off were won by the team batting second.
Led by the belligerence of Dwayne Bravo and the brilliance of Kieron Pollard, Trinidad and Tobago posted a formidable 168 for six.
In reply, Jamaica limped to 105 for five.   
Trinidad and Tobago’s cause was helped by exceptionally poor catching by Jamaica that let off both Bravo and Pollard early in their innings.
Shawn Findlay, respected as one of the safer catchers in the team, sprinted around the long on boundary to drop Bravo; while Marlon Samuels spilled a straightforward opportunity to let off Pollard from the bowling of left-arm medium pacer Krishmar Santokie.
Santokie then took a hammering from Pollard as he conceded 26 off his final over, including three sixes and a four to Pollard.
Pollard hit four sixes in an undefeated 39 made off just 13 balls.
Bravo’s innings, marked first by a period of consolidation after coming to the crease with his side 42 for two, evolved into an explosive knock. He struck four sixes and three fours in scoring 49 off 43 deliveries in a Man-of-the-Match performance that helped his side secure the US$62 500 prize money.
Jamaica created some early uncertainty in the Trini camp mainly through leg-spinner Odean Brown who picked up three for 22, claiming the wickets of Lendl Simmons, Adrian Barath and Denesh Ramdin.           
With little support in the field the remaining bowlers struggled to make an impression.
Jamaica’s run chase was compromised from as early as the third over when Nkrumah Bonner was run out and then Samuels was bowled by leg-spinner Samuel Badree (one for 14). Jamaica were reduced to eight for two and never recovered.
Carlton Baugh topscored with an unbeaten 39 off 23 balls. Captain Dave Bernard added 25 and Findlay was unbeaten on 17.