Trinidad cruise into semi-finals
Trinidad & Tobago marched into the semi-finals of the Stanford 20/20 tournament with a comfortable 59-run win over St. Vincent and The Grenadines at the Stanford Cricket Ground on Wednesday.
Beaten finalist at the inaugural tournament, Trinidad & Tobago, led by half centuries from Dwayne Bravo and William Perkins, scored 166 for seven off their allotted 20 overs. St. Vincent and The Grenadines were restricted to 107 for eight.
Despite, the loss of Lendl Simmons (17) and captain Daren Ganga (10), along with Kieron Pollard (two), who was caught at extra-cover by Romel Currency off Alton Bobb at 49 for three, Trinidad & Tobago's middle order was never affected.
Perkins, who at this point (49-3), had only faced 20 deliveries for 18 runs, was joined by Bravo and throughout their 86-run fourth wicket stand, Trinidad & Tobago's run-rate was improved rapidly.
In one particular over, the 15th to be exact, Bravo, playing his first Stanford 20/20 match, hit Currency for two successive fours and a six, which pushed Trinidad & Tobago's run-rate above the 10 runs for the first time in the innings.
Perkins was the first to bring up his 50. He stepped across off-stump and flicked Deighton Butler over fine leg for four, but was bowled the very next over by Keon Peters. He made 56, which included four fours and two sixes off 44 balls.
Shortly after, Bravo reached his 50 a huge six off Peters over the head of Romel Currency, who was stationed on the long off boundary. The shot also brought up Trinidad & Tobago's 150 in 18.3 overs.
However, in the final over, Trinidad lost Bravo, bowled playing across the line to Peters. Bravo hit six fours and two sixes off 34 balls in his innings. Rayad Emrit (2) and Denesh Ramdin (nine) also fell in the final over.
In the run chase, St. Vincent and The Grenadines suffered an early set-back with the loss of Miles Bascombe, who was caught at point by Dave Mohammed in Mervyn Dillion's first over without a run on the board.
St. Vincent and The Grenadines slipped to nine for two when Othniel Baptiste (seven) ran himself out. However, when Currency (11) was caught by Simmons off from Emrit, and spinner Samuel Badree bowled Hyron Shallow (eight) and trapped Donwell Hector leg before with successive deliveries; shortly followed by Linden James' soft dismissal, St. Vincent and The Grenadines were never going to recover from 36 for six in 10 overs.
Lucky for them, Alston Bobb (27) and captain Deighton Butler (33 not out) added some respectability to the innings with an 52-run seventh wicket stand, which saved them from total embarrassment.
Butler, who sent Trinidad in, defended his decision. "It was a good toss to win. We started good in the field, but lost it in the middle overs where they got away from us...
"But I think 168 was gettable total on this ground. We needed to get a good start, but we didn't and that set us back," he said.
Man-of-the-Match Bravo said, despite the poor start, he knew once he was in the middle, a good total was always on the cards.
"I knew once we batted out the overs, we would have always gotten a good total," he said while adding that they have bowling ability to restrict St. Vincent.