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Lewis in runs again as T&T sweep Canada

By Roger Seepersad

Aggressive opening batsman Evin Lewis led Trinidad and Tobago to another easy win over Canada yesterday, top-scoring with 87 as the hosts completed a five-wicket victory in the final match of Canada's tour of Trinidad at the National Cricket Centre, Balmain, Couva.

The visitors, who lost two Twenty20s and a three-day match against the hosts on their week-long tour, were outclassed again, this time in the 50 overs arena.

They were restricted to 219 for nine off their 50 overs before Evin Lewis slammed 87 off 68 balls with ten fours and four sixes in a 127-run stand for the first wicket with Lendl Simmons (41 off 45 balls) to set up the win.

Skipper Denesh Ramdin brought home the victory with an unbeaten 38 off 50 balls after T&T stumbled against the Canada spinners Nikhil Dutta (three for 37) and Damodar Daesrath (two for 40) who took five wickets between them.

When Canada batted, opener Hiral Patel got them off to a steady start, scoring the first half century by a Canadian batsman on the tour—58—but they were pegged back by spin, as Yannic Cariah grabbed three wickets from his nine overs.

The leg-spinner, who is part of the West Indies Cricket Board Sagicor High Performance Centre, even got the key wicket of Hiral Patel as Canada struggled to put partnerships together early on in their innings.

The biggest stand was at the top of the innings with Patel and Ruvindu Gunasekera (12) putting on 69 before the innings started to unravel.

Medium pacer Rayad Emrit made the first breakthrough, getting the wicket of Gunasekera in the 15th over before Cariah trapped Nitish Kumar lbw four overs later.

Cariah got two more relatively quick wickets in Patel and Amabir Hansra and Canada were in danger of getting bowled out cheaply, but the batsmen showed a lot of determination and patience to get to a competitive total.

Guyana-born Daesrath started the repair job with a handy 23 before he was trapped lbw to give Ravi Rampaul his first wicket in only his second game since returning to competitive action.

Wicketkeeper Tariq Hamza rallied the lower order in the final overs with a solid 31 as the Canadians took their total past 200 for the first time on the tour.

It was still not good enough. The T&T batsmen started to make light work of the total thanks to the good work of Lewis and Simmons but they were set back by Dutta and Daesrath.

Lewis and Simmons took apart the Canadian pacers Henry Osinde and Maninderjit Aulakh in the opening overs to set the tone for the chase.

Lewis started things off with a four through the covers off Osinde before cutting loose against Aulakh with a pair of boundaries in the fourth over as the hosts raced to 24 without loss.

Osinde was in for more stick, as Lewis flicked one for six before finding the deep midwicket fence for another four.

His half century came soon after as he pulled Rayyankhan Pathan to the boundary.

Pathan is one of only three Canada-born citizens playing for the visitors. The other two are Usman Limbada and Nitish Kumar.

Lewis continued his dominating style of play and really should have posted his second century of the series but he could not carry his bat through the innings. He was caught by Limbada at point off the bowling of Dutta with T&T on 156.

Adrian Barath, who was also playing his first game on the tour after recovering from a finger injury, got 18 off 33 balls with one four before he became Daesrath's first wicket.

But T&T were never in danger of losing. Ramdin took them across the finish line with more than ten overs to spare.

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