Trinidad and Tobago ended Jamaica’s chances of lifting the 2014 Nagico Super50 tournament title yesterday in a shocking display that saw David Bernard Jr’s men skittled for 49 in less than half the allotted overs at Queen’s Park Oval.
T&T made light work of the target with 51 for three, but they would want to work on their shakiness at the top of the batting order—a symptom that has plagued all teams so far in this year’s tournament— before Saturday’s final.
Today, Guyana and Barbados will do battle for the second available final berth in a match that will likely come down to batting, with both teams strong in the bowling department.
Player of the Match, T&T skipper Dwayne Bravo, and Ravi Rampaul ripped apart Jamaica’s top order, and Rayad Emrit and Sunil Narine ensured there would be no rearguard battle from their opponents.
Lendl Simmons (21) and the Bravos, Dwayne (five not out) and Darren (23 not out), made sure victory was reached in quick time—13.1 overs.
Fans might have felt cheated when previously unbeaten Jamaica, inserted by T&T, were shot out for 49 in 24.2 overs, their lowest ever total in regional cricket, as they got only three hours’ worth of action. It was like a shootout scene in a Western movie, one that began with an ambush by the hosts.
It was T&T skipper Dwayne Bravo and pacer Rampaul who did most of the damage early up—by the tenth over, openers Kennar Lewis and John Campbell were back in the hut, both victims of Bravo, who had previous centurion Nkrumah Bonner, former Jamaica captain Tamar Lambert and wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh Jr for company.
Rampaul prised out Bonner (one) and Baugh (four), the former pulling into the hands of Evin Lewis at midwicket, the latter, playing with hard hands at a length ball that was snapped up by Darren Bravo at slip.
But it was Dwayne Bravo who started the rout. He had Campbell caught behind by Denesh Ramdin without scoring, and after Bonner departed, he added Lewis (one) and Lambert (duck) to his list of scalps.
Only Andre McCarthy in the top order hit more than four, and that came in 44 balls with one of only five boundaries the Jamaicans scored. But Rayad Emrit ensured that that would not lead to any recovery.
After watching his captain Dave Bernard Jr (one) and hard-hitting allrounder Andre Russell (four) depart, both to Emrit, McCarthy himself fell to the lanky pacer for 16, going for the big shot that looped up to Lewis at short midwicket.
Sunil Narine’s lbw decision against Nikita Miller may have raised a few questions, but Andrew Richardson’s dismissal left no doubt as he slashed Emrit to Lewis at deep point to bring Jamaica’s innings to a close.
Given their success with the ball, the chase for T&T should have been straightforward. But a fired-up Jerome Taylor showed just what a quality fast bowler can do on that wicket, claiming three wickets cheaply in his six overs for 11 runs.
He tempted impetuous Evin Lewis into a rash pull shot in the first over, so eager the opener was to close out the match, and it sailed towards mid-on for a running Russell to pouch before the batsman had scored.
T&T’s questionable strategy of sending Imran Khan one down proved a flop, as Taylor beat him with pace as the ball swung inwards to strike the batsman on the pad in front of middle-and-off.
Darren Bravo joined Lendl Simmons, and the latter mixed patience with aggression, thumping Bernard Jr over his head for six. He also powerfully struck two fours, but became Taylor’s third wicket, misjudging the length and pulling onto his stumps, T&T then 34 for three.
The Bravo brothers then combined again without further mishap, thanks to an awkward attempt by Bernard to catch a skier from Dwayne, which dropped into his hands and then onto the outfield with the T&T total then on 43. That moment epitomised Jamaica’s day, which teetered between bad and unlucky.
For T&T, it was their moment to overcome a poor start to the tournament against Barbados with three victories on the trot to secure their place in Saturday’s final.
K Lewis lbw DJ Bravo 2
J Campbell c wkpr Ramdin b DJ Bravo 0
N Bonner c Lewis b Rampaul 1
T Lambert lbw DJ Bravo 0
A Mc Carthy c Lewis b Emri 16
C Baugh + c DM Bravo b Emrit 4
D Bernard * c DM Bravo b Emrit 1
A Russell c + Ramdin b Emrit 4
N Miller lbw Narine 3
J Taylor not out 13
A Richardson c Lewis b Emrit 0
Extras (lb , w 4,) 5
Total (all out, 24.2 overs) 49
Wickets at: 3, 4, 4, 5, 14, 25, 29, 36, 40,49
Bowling: Dwayne Bravo 6-0-10-3 (2w), Rampaul 5-3-6-2 Narine 7-3-13-1 (2w), Emrit 6.2-0-19-4.
Trinidad & Tobago Inns
L Simmons b Taylor 21
E Lewis c Russell b Taylor 0
I Khan lbw Taylor 1
D Bravo not out 23
D Bravo not out 5
Extras: (W1) 1
Total ( for three wickets; 13.1 overs) 51
Wickets at:1, 10, 34.
Bowling: Taylor 6-2-11-3 (1w), Bernard 2-0-10-0, Richardson 1-0-8-0, Miller 3.1-1-10-0,
Result: T&T won by seven wickets
Man-of-the-Match: Dwayne Bravo
(Trinidad and Tobago)