Half centuries from openers William Perkins and Lendl Simmons gave North a resounding 68-run win over South in the first match of the North/South Twenty20 Classic at Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain on Thursday night.
Perkins blasted 71 off 42 balls in an aggressive 123-run first wicket partnership with Simmons to put North in command.
Simmons lashed 58 off 50 balls as the pair took apart the bowlers to lead the Northerners to an imposing 199 for three off their 20 overs, giving their skipper Dwayne Bravo something to smile about after he won the toss and elected to bat first.
South had their backs against the wall after losing opener Nicholas Sookdeosingh with the score on one. South closed their innings on 131 for six.
When North batted, Perkins led the charge with four sixes and six fours as he dominated the opening stand before sending a catch to Kjorn Ottley at deep mid wicket off the bowling of Shannon Gabriel in the 14th over.
Simmons supported with four sixes and a four, leading North to 154 in the 17th over before he was caught by Yannick Ottley off spinner Ansil Bhaggan.
Darren Bravo slapped three sixes in an unbeaten 15-ball 26, while fast-bowling all-rounder Navin Stewart hit two sixes and a four in a five-ball 20 to end the innings on a high as 21-runs came off the final over of the innings.
The North bowlers rode the momentum and had South struggling at 29 for three after five overs as left-arm spinner Khary Pierre removed Evin Lewis, Sookdeosingh and Jason Mohammed to finish with figures of three for 14 off four overs.
Another spinner Yannic Cariah chipped in with two for 16 as South struggled to put partnerships together.
Kjorn Ottley and skipper Denesh Ramdin did some repair work, putting on 36 for the fourth wicket.
Ottley top-scored for South with 26 off 30 balls which included one four and one six, while Ramdin hit 24 off 23 balls, also with a four and a six. Both batsmen were eventually dismissed by Cariah.
T&T Under-19 wicketkeeper/batsman Nicholas Pooran also showed his worth, catching the eye of Ramdin with an unbeaten 25 off 17 balls at the end of the innings.
He smashed two sixes and two four and shared in the biggest partnership of the innings worth 40 with Sherwin Ganga, who slammed 17 not out off 22 balls.
Both sides met in the final game of the two-match series at the Oval last night with South looking to even up the score.