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The decider

Harold Eastmond

The decider

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Barbados will have to turn back 11 Trinis on the field and over 12 000 in the stands at Queen’s Park Oval dressed in a sea of red if they are to be crowned champions of the inaugural NAGICO Super 50 tournament.
Today’s final promises to be a classic with Barbados looking to prove that their first-round win two Sunday’s ago was no flash-in-de-pan. The Trinis were wounded by that whipping and since then have looked flashy and clinical as they marched into the final.
So, it will all be decided today – starting at 1:30 p.m. and sometime tonight around 9 either Kevin Stoute or Dwayne Bravo will lift the Clive Lloyd trophy.
Yesterday, both got a feel of the trophy at the official media briefing. A rather sedate and calculated Stoute, in his first tournament at the helm, preached the virtues of “togetherness and brotherhood within the group”. Bravo, more flashy and flamboyant with designer shades and slashing gold watch, spoke about his team’s “depth in both batting and bowling” and their desire to celebrate “something special”.
Bravo noted: “This will be a great final . . . two good teams with rich traditions who have been rivals for many, many years. Honestly, I believe we have been the two best teams in the tournament so far and hence the reason why both teams are in the final. Some people might think we [T&T] will win but as a team we have the utmost respect for the Bajan team and we do expect a very good final.”
Bravo has been an inspiration and has led from the front. He has contributed with bat, ball, catches and with run-outs.
All-round ability
“Our strength is our all-round ability. We have some very good batsmen and excellent bowlers – seam bowling and medium pacers and in spin bowling. We have Sunil Narine, who is among the best spin bowlers in the world. We can adjust to any situation and in any conditions.”
Stoute has struggled to find form with bat and ball but has looked comfortable with his bowling changes and his field settings. Off the field he has received excellent strategic directions from the think-tank including coach Hendy Springer and veteran Sulieman Benn, and on the field he has benefited from the advice and direction of Fidel Edwards and Dwayne Smith.
“The feeling in the camp is great. Everyone is keen and ready to go. We have prepared very well and this means a lot to us. Once we apply the basics and stick to the basics I can see us doing very well in this game and winning this game. We have done that throughout the tournament and we have earned a place in the final,” Stoute said.
Both teams reached the final by winning their semi-finals by seven wickets. The Trinis had it easy – they bowled out Jamaica for 49 and then strolled home in a no-contest. The Bajans restricted Guyana to 181 and then got off to a flyer. They stuttered in the middle but in the end walked it home.
That is now history and both finalists will start from scratch this afternoon in the bid to lift the Clive Lloyd trophy later tonight.
Trinidad and Tobago have won the regional 50-over tournament more times than other country having won ten titles and sharing one, while Barbados have five championships and shared one.