Barbados in round of 4
BARBADOS?are into the semi-finals of the NAGICO Super50 tournament after a hard-fought four-wicket victory over the Leeward Islands at Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad, yesterday evening.
Off-spinner Ashley Nurse gave a supreme all-round performance and was the unquestioned Man Of The Match after snatching six for 29. Leewards folded for 103 after reaching 46 without loss.
Nurse, 25, had a hand in seven of the dismissals as he took a fine catch at short-cover to remove Anguillan Montcin Hodge off the bowling of Dwayne Smith that ended his opening stand with Nevisian left-hander and skipper Keiran Powell.
When Nurse trapped Powell leg-before, the Leewards went to 59 for two and the innings then fell into steady decline with the Barbadian spinners taking control.
Left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn took two for 15, including the scalp of Devon Thomas, who played the last of his 21 One-Day Internationals for the West Indies in Melbourne, Australia, last year.
Faced with a modest target against arguably the weakest team in the competition, Barbados made heavy weather of the chase and were hugely indebted to opener Kraigg Brathwaite, who batted throughout the innings for an undefeated 29, with wickets tumbling around him.
Brathwaite faced 98 balls and had a strike rate of just 29.59, as Barbados struggled against the Leewards attack, in particular Antiguan leg-spinner Anthony Martin, who had the impressive figures of 10-5-8-2.
Martin, 31, took the key scalps of Rashidi Boucher (25) and Jonathan Carter (3). Boucher’s knock came off 42 balls with three fours and the only six of the match. Smith, at the top of the order, made just five; captain Kevin Stoute endured another failure getting 13, Shane Dowrich got two and Carlos Brathwaite 12.
Nurse could not be kept out of the spotlight, flicking the Montserratan fast bowler Lionel Baker behind square for the two winning runs.
Barbados joins Trinidad, Jamaica and Guyana in the round of four which begins tomorrow.