After missing out on a place in the Trinidad and Tobago Super50 squad, teenage wicketkeeper-batsman Nicholas Pooran made a strong case for his inclusion in the four-day squad after slamming a chanceless unbeaten 130 on the final day of the second T&T Cricket Board three-day trial match at the National Cricket Centre in Balmain, Couva yesterday.
Pooran created a buzz with his big hitting in last year’s Limacol Caribbean Premier League Twenty20, slamming 54 off 24 balls with six sixes and one four to draw the attention of the commentators during his first match in the tournament against the Guyana Amazon Warriors.
Yesterday in Couva, the left-handed batsman had a similar type innings for the Yannick Ottley XI against the Jason Mohammed XI.
He reached his half century off 58 balls before getting to triple figures off 96, as he guided the Ottley XI to 459 all out in reply to the Mohammed XI first innings of 276 all out.
Batting a second time, the Mohammed XI reached 161 for six to earn a draw with all-rounder Daron Cruickshank hitting 78 off 69 balls and Steven Katwaroo making an unbeaten 25 off 68 balls.
When the Ottley XI resumed their innings from an overnight position of 228 for five, West Indies pacer Shannon Gabriel quickly removed the overnight batsmen--Yannick Ottley, bowled for 15, and Imran Khan, lbw for one.
They slipped to 240 for seven when Pooran and Emrit—who were both part of the T&T Champions League T20 squad last year—came together.
Pooran, smashed 11 fours and four sixes and faced a total of 125 balls during his two and a half hours in the middle and shared a 154-run stand with Emrit to put the Ottley XI in the lead.
Emrit, who recently returned to action following a shoulder injury, scored 72 before he retired hurt. His half century came off 61 balls with seven fours and three sixes.
T&T coach Kelvin Williams said that Emrit came off as a precaution and said that it was nothing to be concerned about.
Speaking about the performance of the batsmen, Williams said: “I am quite pleased with what I have seen so far and it was what exactly what we asked for after what went on in last trial match last weekend. It is nice to see runs on the board and it was quite pleasing for us.”
Commenting specifically on Pooran’s knock, Williams said, “I thought he batted extremely well. It was one of the better innings I have seen from the player and when you look at it, yes it was more than a run a ball but at the same time he took his time to build the innings and he played within his limitations. I think it shows the kind of talent that the young man has and what he is capable of and I think he will move from strength to strength.”
Jason Mohammed XI 276 (85.3 overs) (Jonathan Augustus 85, Yannic Cariah 45, Jason Mohammed 44; Imran Khan 3/31, Kavesh Kantasingh 2/26) & 161-6 (41 overs) (Daron Cruickshank 78, Steven Katwaroo 25 n.o.; Sherwin Ganga 2/6, Adrian Barath 2/22) vs Yannick Ottley XI 459 (112.3 overs) (Nicholas Pooran 130 n.o., Rayad Emrit 72, Petrock Nicholas 60; Shannon Gabriel 3/72, Amit Jaggernauth 2/58)