l GROS ISLET
Mighty Trinidad and Tobago reduced the Caribbean Twenty20 final to a no-contest as they crushed out-of-sorts Guyana in an authoritative performance to march to their third consecutive title on Sunday night.
The defending champions hardly put a foot wrong at Beausejour Cricket Ground in St Lucia, limiting Guyana to an inadequate 116 for six off their 20 overs, and then cruising to their target 7.3 overs left.
T&T's triumph was set up by fast bowlers Shannon Gabriel (2-16) and Rayad Emrit (2-18), who each claimed two wickets in superb four-over spells to keep a lid on the scoring.
Happy to chase a target that required less than a run a ball, T&T got off to a flier courtesy a rollicking 52-run stand off 32 balls between dashing West Indies right-hander Lendl Simmons and rookie Evin Lewis.
Simmons slammed an unbeaten 52 off 37 balls with four fours and three sixes, while left-handed Lewis stroked a cavalier 32 from 18 balls with four fours and two sixes.
When they were parted in the sixth over, Kieron Pollard welcomed a promotion to number three by blasting three sixes and a four in a cameo unbeaten 25 from 21 balls, as he starred in an unbroken 68-run, second wicket partnership off 43 balls with Simmons.
In fact, it was Pollard's massive blow over long-on off Narsingh Deonarine that sealed victory and sparked a fireworks display and partying among the Trinidadian players and fans.
With the bat Guyana looked out of their depth from the outset.
In-form right-hander Chris Barnwell top scored with 32, while opener Trevon Griffith chipped in with 29, but they were only two of three batsmen to reach double figures.
Leg-spinner Samuel Badree removed the dangerous Derwin Christian for five in the second over at five for one and Gabriel gave T&T a huge advantage, prising out Ramnaresh Sarwan (five) and Narsingh Deonarine for a first-ball "duck", in a hostile fifth over.
Reeling at 15 for three in the fifth over, Guyana recovered through a 61-run fourth wicket stand between Barnwell and Griffith, who lived a charmed life.
Barnwell faced 39 deliveries and struck a four and a six, while Griffith survived two simple chances to Emrit to also hit a four and a six in a 32-ball knock.
Griffith was first let off in the fourth over before he had scored when he lofted a sitter to long-on off Badree, and was then given a second life on 19 in the 14th over, when Emrit failed to hold on to a steepling return catch.
Griffith cleared mid-wicket in the 14th over off Narine, and Barnwell followed up with a straight hit for four in one of the most expensive overs of the innings that cost 13 runs.
Off the first ball of the next over, Griffith perished to a direct hit by Pollard from cover as he attempted a sharp single, and Barnwell lofted Narine over mid-wicket for his only six before he fell to the first ball of the 17th over, well taken at point by Darren Bravo.
Two balls later, Leon Johnson was taken on the second attempt by Simmons at third man off Emrit, and Guyana needed an unbroken 27-run, seventh-wicket partnership between Royston Crandon (16) and Steven Jacobs (9) to inch to their total.
T&T vs Guyana
D Christian c Emrit b Badree 5
T Griffith run out 29
R Sarwan c Simmons b Gabriel 5
N Deonarine c wkp Ramdin b Gabriel 0
C Barnwell c DM Bravo b Emrit 32
L Johnson c Simmons b Emrit 1
R Crandon not out 16
S Jacobs not out 9
Extras: ((lb4, w10, nb5) 19
TOTAL: (6 wkts, 20 overs) 116
Did not bat: V Permaul, D Bishoo, R Beaton.
Fall of wickets: 5, 14, 15, 76, 88, 89.
Bowling: Gabriel 4-0-16-2; Badree 4-0-21-1; Narine 4-0-26-0; DJ Bravo 4-0-31-0; Emrit 4-0-18-2.
L Simmons not out 52
E Lewis c Johnson b Beaton 32
K Pollard not out 25
Extras: (b4, lb1, w5, nb1) 11
TOTAL: (1 wkt, 12.3 overs) 120
Did not bat: DJ Bravo, D Ramdin, DM Bravo, J Mohammed, R Emrit, S Narine, S Badree, S Gabriel.
Fall of wickets: 52.
Bowling: Jacobs 3-0-35-0, Barnwell 1-0-10-0, Beaton 4-0-11-1, Bishoo 2-0-30-0, Deonarine 1.3-0-16-0, Permaul 1-0-13-0.
Result: T&T won by nine wickets.
Series: T&T win Caribbean Twenty20 final.
Man-of-the-Match: Shannon Gabriel.
Man-of-the-Series: Darren Bravo.
Umpires: Gregory Brathwaite, Patrick Gustard;
TV: Verdayne Smith.