The Trinidad and Tobago batsmen would have had to be at their best to get the 340 runs needed to beat the Windward Islands. Instead, they produced their worst.
Reaching at balls they did not need to reach for; attempting shots that weren’t necessary in the circumstances; they surrendered this Regional Four-Day semi-final, as if playing Good Friday bobolees. In 29.2 overs yesterday afternoon at the Queen’s Park Oval, the home team scratched together 105 to lose by a comprehensive 234 runs.
“Words can’t explain it, extremely disappointed,” was the way T&T coach Kelvin Williams described his feelings on the performance yesterday.
“We expect that the seniors would try and pull it through especially when you are chasing 340. It didn’t happen that way.”
No it didn’t.
With 140 overs available to them after the Windwards were eventually dismissed in their second innings for 231, just 37 minutes after lunch, Denesh Ramdin’s side had a challenging but not impossible task facing them. To get those runs however, would have required a collective effort and discipline to repel a Windwards team sensing a big chance to reach the final.
Instead, T&T wilted under left-arm seamer Kenroy Peters’ steady left-arm stuff.
By the time Imran Khan skied Peters into the deep extra cover region where Romel Currency waited, Windwards captain Liam Sebastien was already running from long-off, arms in the air in celebration of the final wicket. Victory had become as certain as the reality of the match ending on the third day.
Man-of-the-Match Peters had taken a career-best seven for 36 in 10.2 overs to be the undisputed Windwards hero. But for T&T, there were many villains.
There was no hint of the shambles to come when Lendl Simmons (31, seven fours) and Evin Lewis (17) calmly compiled 50 for the first wicket. But once Simmons snicked a Peters delivery to wicketkeeper Johnson Charles pitched in the off-stump corridor, it was time for the Windwards to beat the T&T bobolees.
The next nine wickets went down for 55 runs, the match put to bed by 4.15 in the afternoon as Lewis, Jason Mohammed, skipper Denesh Ramdin, Rayad Emrit, Marlon Richards and Khan also became Peters victims—Bravo giving second slip a straightforward catch from a flat-footed, indifferent stroke and Ramdin top-edging a reckless pull to the keeper. So much for the senior batsmen shouldering the load as the skipper had asked pre-game.
Akeal Hosein’s run out further added to the disaster. It seemed as if each succeeding batsman was too much in a stupor to get a grip.
T&T’s “sometimeish” batting this season had reached its nadir.
“Very disappointing. Good batting track, we didn’t apply ourselves,” Ramdin offered. “Rash shots, loose shots....We didn’t bat well in the first innings as well, and we tried a strategy by not giving them that bonus point (by declaring on the second day) but things didn’t work out. Our top four, top five batters including myself, we didn’t get starts, we didn’t go out there and bat as long as we wanted to.”
The home team’s weak first innings effort had forced them no option but to come from behind yesterday.
With the Windwards resuming already with an advantage of 206, the pressure was on T&T to get wickets quickly and often. They managed two before the first water break of an extended first session which began at 9.30 in order to make up for the overs lost on the rain-hit second day.
Opener Devon Smith, unbeaten on 44 overnight, progressed to 63 before he gave a catch to Rayad Emrit off Jason Mohammed and Sunil Ambris became Enrit’s second wicket of the innings when he gave a catch to wicketkeeper Ramdin.
By lunch, the T&T bowlers, namely leg-spinner Khan had picked up three more, to leave the Windwards on 201 for seven at the interval, and ahead by 309. “Sharky” has been his side’s most prolific bowler this season, and to add to the catch to the keeper he induced from Keddy Lesporis; the leg-break that defeated Romel Currency for Ramdin to complete the stumping; and the ball of extra bounce that Mervyn Mathew edged to Bravo at slip; Khan added the wickets of Kenroy Peters and last man Nelon Pascal after the break to take his match tally to nine and his season’s haul to 33.
But the afternoon’s beating was so bad for him and his mates, he will not be able to add any more to his tally.
T&T vs Windward Islands
WINDWARDS 1st Inns 248
T&T 1st Inns 140-8 dec.
WINDWARDS 2nd Inns
D Smith c Emrit b Mohammed 63
T Theophile lbw b Emrit 11
J Charles c Hosein b Jaipaul 11
S Ambris c wkpr Ramdin b Emrit 13
K Lesporis c wkpr Ramdin b Khan 26
R Currency stpd wkpr Ramdin b Khan 10
L Sebastien not out 33
M Mathew c Bravo b Khan 4
K Peters c Mohammed b Khan 17
D Johnson c Bravo b Jaipaul 7
N Pascal c wkpr Ramdin b Khan 17
Extras: (NB3, LB7, B9) 19
TOTAL (all out; 68.2 overs) 231
Wickets at: 45 (Theophile), 60 (Charles). 88 (Ambris), 113 (Smith), 148 (Lesporis), 150 (Currency), 182 (Mathew), 205 (Peters), 212 (Johnson) , 231 (Pascal)
Bowling: Gabriel 9-2-27-0, Richards 4-1-8-0, Simmons 1-0-2-0, Emrit 11-4-35-2, Jaipaul 11-2-35-2, Khan 13.2-3-46-5, Mohammed 9-2-21-2 (1nb), Hosein 10-0-41-0 (2nb)
T&T 2nd inns (target 340)
L Simmons c wkpr Charles b Peters 31
E Lewis lbw Peters 17
D Bravo c Lesporis b Mathew 8
J Mohammed c Charles b Peters 12
A Hosein run out 4
D Ramdin c wkpr Charles b Peters 7
R Emrit lbw Peters 2
I Khan not out 1
M Richards c Lesporis b Peters 0
S Gabriel lbw Mathew 5
R Jaipaul not out 0
Extras: (NB3, LB1, B8) 12
TOTAL (all out; 29.2 overs) 105
Wickets at: 50 (Simmons), 59 (Bravo), 59 (Lewis), 80 Mohammed), 80 (Hosein), 87 (Ramdin), 90 (Emrit), 90 (Richards), 105 (Gabriel), 105 (Khan)
Bowling: Mathew 12-5-16-2, Johnson 4-1-20-0, Pascal 3-0-24-0 (3nb), Peters 10.2-5-36-7
Result: Windwards won by 234 runs
Man-of-the-Match: Kenroy Peters