Some good fast bowling from Ravi Rampaul and Sunil Narine’s mystifying spin combined to set up Trinidad and Tobago’s easy five-wicket win over the Leeward Islands in their NAGICO Super50 Zone B match at Shaw Park, Tobago yesterday.
T&T also came away with a bonus point from the win to keep alive their chances of qualifying for the semi-finals.
In front of a packed ground at Shaw Park, T&T dismissed the Leewards for 141 with Narine grabbing four for 17 and Rampaul taking four for 20.
The host had some early setbacks but managed to overhaul the target, reaching 144 for five in 27.1 overs with the skipper Dwayne Bravo leading the way with 42 off 37 balls with three sixes and four fours.
When the Leewards won the toss and elected to bat first, they were rocked early by Rampaul who removed both openers and another Leeward Islands collapse seemed imminent.
The introduction of Narine, who showed no signs of jet-lag after returning from South Africa a day earlier, put the Leewards under more pressure, with Mali Richards struggling to put bat on ball and the Tobago crowd enjoying every minute of it.
It was the first time Narine had played in front of the Tobago public, who came out in their numbers to support the home team.
Richards survived his first over to Narine only to fall to the off-spinner, lbw for ten as the Leewards slipped to 46 for four after 18 overs.
Devon Thomas and Jahmar Hamilton staged a recovery with a 67-run stand for the fifth wicket, with Thomas hitting spinners Yannick Ottley and Imran Khan for sixes to put the bowlers under pressure.
But the Leewards innings began to unravel when Ottley broke the stand in the 33rd over when Thomas was caught by Lendl Simmons for a top score of 42.
Narine then plucked two wickets in his first over of a new spell, sending back Rahkeem Cornwall via the lbw route before captain Dwayne Bravo took a good catch at first slip to remove Justin Athanaze for zero.
Three overs later, Rampaul did the same at the other end, with Gavin Tonge skying one to Darren Bravo before Anthony Martin’s stumps were rearranged.
Narine ended the innings, tapping Hamilton lbw for 39 which came off 80 balls.
After two early setbacks with the dismissal of Adrian Barath for zero in the first over then Evin Lewis for 11, shortly after-- both to pacer Gavin Tonge--Simmons took charge of the chase with a six off Quinton Boatswain which landed outside the ground as T&T raced to 43 for two off eight overs.
And when Simmons departed for 25, the crowd came to their feet as they welcomed skipper Bravo to the crease.
They erupted once more when he lifted Anthony Martin over long-on to get off the mark with a six.
Tonge also got the treatment from the T&T skipper who deposited him over wide long-on for his second six as the score moved on to 81.
Bravo’s straight six and a four off Athanaze then put T&T in total control of the chase.
The T&T skipper eventually lost his wicket to Tonge but had done enough to seal the win and the bonus point. Before his departure, brother Darren Bravo was dismissed by Athanaze for 22. The younger Bravo had shared a third wicket partnership of 40 with Simmons.
Today, the other two Zone B teams Barbados and the Combined Campuses and Colleges will meet at Shaw Park from 9 a.m. before the tournament shifts back to Trinidad tomorrow.