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Red Force march into Super50 Cup final


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Red Force march into Super50 Cup final
Lendl Simmons drives through the off-side during his 68. (Photo courtesy CWI Media/Philip Spooner)

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COOLIDGE – Led by half-centuries from Lendl Simmons and Nicholas Pooran, Trinidad & Tobago Red Force reached the final of the West Indies Super50 Cup with a convincing six-wicket win over Jamaica Scorpions.

Simmons cracked the top score of 68 and Pooran hit top form with an unbeaten 54, and Red Force successfully chased 256 for victory in the day-night, first semi-final at the Coolidge Cricket Ground.

Simmons, whose innings included seven fours and three sixes from 70 balls, anchored an opening stand of 63 with fellow international Evin Lewis to give the run chase a solid foundation.

Pooran, batting at five, collected four fours and two sixes in his 40-ball knock. He shared 59 for the fourth wicket with Jason Mohammed and added 58 – unbroken – with his captain Kieron Pollard for the fifth wicket to hasten Red Force over the finish line.

Mohammed made 41, Pollard was not out on 36 that included one four and five sixes from only 18 balls, and Lewis added 24 in another dominant Red Force batting performance that extended their unbeaten streak in this tournament.

Pooran formalised the result, when he smashed left-arm spinner and fellow West Indies international Fabian Allen for a straight six with 47 balls remaining.

Red Force, the most successful side in the West Indies Super50, will be seeking their 13th title in the final on Sunday at this venue.

Guyana Jaguars face Windward Islands Volcanoes in the second day-night, semi-final on Thursday at this venue to determine the other finalist.

Red Force march into Super50 Cup final
Ravi Rampaul appeals for another wicket. (Photo courtesy CWI Media/Philip Spooner)

Earlier, left-handed West Indies Test opener John Campbell hit four fours and one six in the top score off 88 and fellow international Brandon King supported with five fours and one six in 58 from 81 balls to lead the Scorpions’ batting.

The international pair put on 108 for the second wicket to be the rocks upon which the Scorpions built a total of 255 for seven from their allocation of 50 overs, after they were put into bat.

Former West Indies fast bowler Ravi Rampaul was the pick of the Red Force bowlers, taking four for 29 from his allotted 10 overs and fellow pacer Anderson Phillips grabbed two for 41 from seven overs.

Scorpions lost Aldaine Thomas in the third over, but Campbell and King gave them a rock-solid foundation with their partnership.

King danced down the pitch and lofted part-time off-spinner Jason Mohammed onto the grandstand roof for his only six to reach his 50 from 65 balls in the 22nd over.

Then, Campbell drove Phillip to the wide long-off rope for his last boundary to reach his 50 off 74 balls in the 26th over.

King was bowled leg-stump by Phillip, playing back and across to a well-pitched delivery that moved back in the 28th over, bringing Andre McCarthy to the crease.

McCarthy put on 58 with Campbell for the third wicket before he was caught at long-off off leg-spinner Imran Khan for 35, dragging a delivery from outside the off-stump in the 37th over.

Chasing quick runs in the final 10 overs, Scorpions gifted cheap wickets, including Campbell, who was dubiously adjudged lbw to Rampaul in the 46th over. TV replays suggested he was struck outside the line of the off-stump.

There were no closing pyrotechnics from Scorpions with the experienced Red Force attack using a number of variations to stem their flow.

Summarised scores:

Scorpions 255 for seven off 50 overs (John Campbell 88, Brandon King 58, Andre McCarthy 35, Nkrumah Bonner 20, Rovman Powell 16, Odean Smith 15 not out; Ravi Rampaul 4-29, Anderson Phillip 2-41).

Red Force 256 for four off 42.1 overs (Lendl Simmons 68, Nicholas Pooran 54 not out, Jason Mohammed 41, Kieron Pollard 36 not out, Evin Lewis 24, Daren Bravo 19; Odean Smith 2-54).

(AR)