Putting Trinidad and Tobago under pressure and sustaining that pressure was key to Barbados’ 17-run win over T&T in the NAGICO Super50 final at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain on Saturday night.
That was the view of Barbados all-rounder Dwayne Smith who earned the Man-of-the-Match award in the final after scoring a brisk 83 to lead his team to 252 all out before taking two catches and a wicket to help dismiss T&T for 235.
“It feels very good to play a good innings and then to go on a win the match and the trophy...this one was really deserved,” he told the media following the win.
Smith, who also thwarted T&T when the two sides met in the Group stage, was confident that his team could pull off the win even when T&T managed to claw their way back to make the contest close.
From a position of 143 for seven, T&T recovered to reach 204 for eight before Smith removed top-scorer Denesh Ramdin (68) lbw to silence the capacity crowd.
“There was always going to be a partnership. We knew that. All we needed to do was to keep the pressure on and keep fighting and I was sure that at some point in time we would come through and that’s what happened and now we have the trophy,” Smith added.
The Barbados skipper Kevin Stoute praised the efforts of his players, particularly the senior players Sulieman Benn and Smith, for playing big roles in their unbeaten run in the tournament.
Smith was the leading run scorer in the tournament with 252 runs while Benn was second on the bowling list with nine wickets, one less than top bowler Rayad Emrit from T&T who had ten.
Stoute also noted that he and Barbados were out to prove a point after he was appointed skipper.
“A lot of people doubted that I could have done the job. They said I could not manage this crop but at the end of the day, I just showed those guys what I am capable of, once given the opportunity,” said Stoute.
Asked about the situation with former skipper Kirk Edwards being sent home, Stoute said: “It is clear what the team did. We came and won the tournament for Kirk Edwards.”
Meanwhile, the Barbados coach Henderson Springer put the victory down to the maturity of his team.
About lifting the Clive Lloyd trophy, Springer said: “This is what we came here to do and we had to work hard because it had some serious opposition in this tournament.
“Last time we won the one-day tournament many years ago, I think we lost a game and then had to recover but now I think the guys are coming of age.
“We got some experienced players in Benn, Fidel Edwards and Dwayne Smith who were tremendous throughout the tournament both on and off the field as far as motivation is concerned.”
He also believes that their victories over hosts gives them a good indicator of the progress the Barbados team has made in recent years.
Last year, Barbados beat T&T twice in the four-day competition, once in the round robin and then in the final and this year they did the same in the limited overs competition with victories in the Group stage and then in the final.
“It is not often a Barbados teams comes to Trinidad and beat them twice in two weeks. It is good and it gives us an idea of where our cricket is at,” he added.
NAGICO Super50 Honour Roll
Best Batsman: Dwayne Smith (Barbados)
Best Bowler: Rayad Emrit (T&T)
Best All-rounder: Tamar Lambert (Jamaica)
Best Fielder: Evin Lewis (T&T)
Best Wicketkeeper: Denesh Ramdin (T&T)
Top Five Batsmen
Dwayne Smith (Barbados)–232 runs
Jonathan Carter (Barbados)–170 runs
Ramnaresh Sarwan (Guyana)–151 runs
Nkrumah Bonner (Jamaica)–146 runs
Shivnarine Chanderpaul (Guyana)–144 runs
Top Five Bowlers
Rayad Emrit (T&T)–10 wickets
Sulieman Benn (Barbados)–9 wickets
Ravi Rampaul (T&T)–9 wickets
Sunil Narine (T&T)–8 wickets
Veerasammy Permaul (Guyana)–8 wickets