Trinidad and Tobago got another stern test of their mettle on Friday night in Dominica, pulling off a last-ball, four-run win over Windward Islands in their third practice match ahead of the Champions League Twenty20, which bowls off later this month.
Rayad Emrit grabbed five for 16 from four overs to help dismiss the Windwards for 148 in reply to T&T’s 152 for five.
T&T manager Omar Khan was pleased with the win, but said there were still areas they needed to work on, specifically at the top of the batting order and aspects of their bowling.
In terms of their bowling, pacer Shannon Gabriel bowled three overs for 52 runs, and that is something Khan said the coaching staff will have to look at.
“This is what practice is for. The coaching staff will have some concerns, but we have some more matches and we are still trying to fine tune for the tournament,” said Khan.
Of the practice games they have played so far, he said: “The competition has been intense and that is what we wanted.
“At the end of the day, we want to get the team in a mode of a winning culture and playing competitive matches and facing different situations so that when they get to the Champions League and a situation comes up, they will be prepared to handle it,” he added.
On Friday night, the Windwards made a valiant chase with number three batsman Andre Fletcher keeping them in the hunt with a top-score of 87 off 38 balls.
Fletcher slapped four fours and eight sixes to lead the charge, while opening batsman Johnson Charles hit two sixes and a four in a 15-ball 20.
The rest of the Windwards’ batsmen failed to reach double figures as Samuel Badree struck three early blows before Emrit cleaned up the rest.
Emrit had Charles caught behind by Denesh Ramdin before going to work on the lower order.
But the prize wicket of Fletcher went to Nicholas Pooran, who is better known for his big hitting and for his work behind the stumps as wicketkeeper.
Pooran, trying to imitate Sunil Narine, had Fletcher, who was the top batsmen in the recently concluded Limacol Caribbean Premier League T20, caught behind by Ramdin to bring T&T back into the contest with the Windwards on 131 for seven in the 17th over.
When T&T batted first after winning the toss, they got off to a poor start after Adrian Barath fell for five.
But his opening partner Evin Lewis continued his good run of four, hitting five sixes and two fours in a top score of 46 off 32 balls to set the platform for a big total.
Jason Mohammed chipped in with 39 off 30 with three sixes and a four, while Ramdin hit two sixes and a four in a 29-ball 33.
Pooran closed off the innings, hitting two sixes in his unbeaten four-ball 15.
T&T faced the Windwards in another practice match in Dominica yesterday, and are expected to be back in T&T to conclude their Champions League T20 preparations.
Ramdin’s men also have two practice matches in T&T this week before they leave for India next Monday.
T&T 152-5 (20 overs) (Evin Lewis 46, Jason Mohammed 39, Denesh Ramdin 33, Nicholas Pooran 15 n.o., Darren Bravo 12, Adrian Barath 3; Raymond Casimir 2/34) vs Windward Islands 148 (20 overs) (Andre Fletcher 87, Johnson Charles 20; Rayad Emrit 5/16, Samuel Badree 3/23, Nicholas Pooran 1/11, Sherwin Ganga 1/36, Sunil Narine 0/10, Shannon Gabriel 0/52)—T&T won by 4 runs.