West INDIES captain Merissa Aguilleira led Trinidad and Tobagoís cricket women to a winning started in their tour of South Africa on Sunday, as the defeated Gauteng Women and Northerns Women in back-to-back T20s at Sinoville in Guateng, Pretoria.
Aguilleira was needed to bat only once and made four not out in the second match in T&Tís wins. T&T may have wondered how they would adjust to conditions, but they answered with contrasting victories. T&T beat Guateng by nine wickets, but needed a Super Over to take care of Northerns.
With sunny conditions in the morning match, T&T kept the scoring low after electing to field against the hosts, dismissing them for just 42 off 18.4 overs, with no player able to get into double figures. T&Tís bowling was led by all-rounder Kirbyina Alexander and Samantha Bissoon, who grabbed two wickets each, while five others had one wicket.
In their turn at the crease, Alexander (17 not out) and Britney Cooper (13 not out) took T&T to victory in the eighth over after Alexanderís opening partner Rackeal Bissoon was dismissed by Jameelah Shaikjee for one. Extras contributed 12 to the score.
If there was any overconfidence leading into their second match, it would have disappeared quickly as T&T were certainly made to work harder for their second win, with 20 overs unable to separate the teams.
Again T&T won the toss and fielded, but Northerns posted a challenging 147 for three in their quota of 20 overs. South Africa wicket-keeper Mignon du Preez, who made her international debut in 2007 at age 17, led the offensive with an unbeaten 79. She was aided by Marcia Letsoaloís 28 not out, while opener Anne Steyn also chipped in with 21.
T&T responded with 147 for four, as Stacy-Ann King hit 42 before she was last out off the final ball. T&Tís entire top order contributed to the total, including vice-captain Shenelle Lordís 23 batting at No. 4. Alexander retired hurt on 19.
There was more drama to come in the Super Over, as T&T scored 12 in an over bowled by Sune Luus, who was injured and saw Michelle Burt complete her over.
Du Preez scored seven when Alexanderís turn came to bowl in the one-over eliminator, but it was not enough as Northerns were restricted to ten. T&T had a rest-day yesterday, and will face Northerns again today, this time over 50 overs.
Guateng 42 all out in 18.4 overs (J Scarle 9; Kirbyina Alexander 2/6, Samantha Bissoon 2/6, Britney Cooepr 1/1, Shenelle Lord 1/4, Stacy-Ann King 1/4, Lee-Ann Kirby 1/9, Kamara Ragoobar 1/7) vs T&T 43/1 in 7.4 overs (Kirbyina Alexander 17 n.o., Britney Cooper 13 n.o.; Jameelah Shaikjee 1/21)
T&T won by nine wickets
Northerns 147/3 in 20 overs (Mignon du Preez 79 n.o., Marcia Letsoalo 28 n.o., Anne Steyn 21; Amanda Samaroo 1/8, Kirbyina Alexander 1/25, Gaitri Seetahal 1/4) vs T&T 147/4 in 20 overs (Stacy-Ann King 42, Shenelle Lord 23, Britney Cooper 22, Amanda Samaroo 21, Kirbyina Alexander 19 r.h.; Michelle Burt 1/33)
T&T won via one-over eliminator