Trinidad and Tobago leg-spinner Imran Khan grabbed five wickets for 53 runs to bowl the home team to an innings and 107-run victory over the Leeward Islands in the first session of the final day of their Regional Four-day Championship day/night match at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain yesterday.
The Leewards started the final day on 159 for six after Shannon Gabriel’s late strike on Sunday to remove skipper Kieran Powell.
The pacer also struck early yesterday, sending back Tonito Willett who tried to pull a short ball and edged to wicketkeeper Steven Katwaroo for ten.
Then Khan, who took three on Sunday—all to break threatening partnerships—completed his seventh five-wicket haul to bring home the win on a flat Oval pitch as the Leewards were dismissed for 238.
After the victory, T&T skipper Rayad Emrit said that on a docile strip, they needed to seize the momentum in the night when the ball was doing a lot more, and that is exactly what they did.
“It was a very flat wicket, nothing like the one in the first game, so it was tough going for us as bowlers and we saw in the second innings when they really put their heads down and decided to bat, how difficult it was to get wickets.,” Emrit told the media after the match.
“I thought in the night when the ball was doing much more than it was during the day, that is when we wanted to capitalise and that is what we did.
“I must say hats off to the bowlers in the first innings to dismiss them for a low score and in the second innings we worked hard and we got the results,” the T&T skipper added.
T&T dismissed the Leewards for just 113 in their first innings, taking nine wickets in the final session on Day Two and then making the crucial breakthrough by removing Powell in the final over on day three to set up an early finish on the final day.
Emrit was also pleased with his team’s batting performance leading up to their clash against defending champions Barbados in a rematch of last year’s final bowling off on Friday at Kensington Oval in Barbados.
“We were asking for runs after the first game and thank God we got it in this game. Akeal (Hosein) again did the job for us with the bat this time. Young Katwaroo, (Darren) Bravo and (Evin) Lewis also came good. So the batting is looking promising. It is early in the season still but is for us to continue that.
“We are very happy, we are going to Barbados (in second place behind Jamaica) and it is still early yes, but we are on a high now at it is just for us to go there and continue the good job we have been doing,” Emrit concluded.
T&T leave for Barbados today.