T&T return to Stanford final after win
Trinidad & Tobago secured a place in Sunday's Stanford 20/20 final after beating Barbados by 5 runs in a nail-biting semi-final contest at the Stanford Cricket Ground.
In the exciting contest, which saw spectators on the edge of their seats for the last few overs, Barbados were restricted to 115 for six, chasing Trinidad & Tobago's mere 120 all out in 19.1 overs.
Electing to bat, William Perkins and Lendl Simmons got off to a quiet start as they managed only six runs from the first three overs bowled by pacer Tino Best and left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn.
Benn, who opened with a maiden, suffered in the fourth over, going for 14 runs, 13 of which came off the bat of Perkins, who cut and drove his way to three fours. Perkins also hook Best for six in the previous over.
However, Benn returned with better control and picked up the wicket of Simmons, who charged down the track, but played over the ball, which knocked his middle stump a couple metres back.
Both opening bowlers – Best (0-15) and Benn (121) ended their quota with impressive final overs as Trinidad & Tobago were 38 for one.
Derrick Bishop replaced Best at the northern end, but despite removing skipper Daren Ganga, caught on the long-on boundary for four with his first delivery, Perkins hit him for two sixes in the same over.
The final of the two sixes, which went over square, bought up Trinidad & Tobago's 50 in the ninth over.
Khalid Springer took over from Benn at the southern end, but although he did not suffered immediately, he was welcomed by Dwayne Bravo, who replaced his skipper, with a beautiful straight drive for six over long-off.
Bishop, who took 3-19 against Grenada, picked up another wicket, this time the dangerous Perkins, who came down the track and lofted straight to Benn for his second catch on the long-on boundary at 66 for 3.
Perkins made 43 off 30 deliveries, which included hit three sixes and as many fours.
Ryan Nurse conceded 18 runs off his first over, which included a six and four off Bravo's bat, the latter brought up Trinidad & Tobago's 100.
Dwayne Smith with his first deliver, removed Denesh Ramdin, who attempted hook ended up with a top edge to Holder at backward of square leg.
Like most of the Barbados' bowlers, Ryan Hinds, who replaced Nurse after just one over, had Bravo caught on the mid-wicket boundary by Jonathan Carter. Bravo made 39 off 29 deliveries, hitting two sixes and as many fours.
Smith picked up two wickets – Dave Mohammed (2) and Samuel Badree (0) at 115 for eight in the 18th over, which signalled Trinidad & Tobago's aspiration to get anywhere close to 150 would be impossible.
Smith ended with 4 for 9, Derrick Bishop 2 for 26 and Ryan Hinds 2 for 7.
In reply, Barbados in search of six runs per over, opened with Patrick Browne and Ryan Nurse. However, Browne beat Mervyn Dillon out of the attack by taking 19 runs off his two overs.
But things turn ugly when opening bowler Samuel Badree and Sherwin Ganga struck, both spinners, picked up Nurse, bowled for four and Dwayne Smith, caught by Simmons at 29 for 2 within four deliveries.
Things got worst for Barbados, who lost their top batsman, Jonathan Carter, caught at short third-man by Simmons off Ganga for one at 33 for three.
Browne and Hinds joined forces in a 46-run partnership, which revived Barbados' quest for victory, but after some sensitively batting; the latter gave away his wicket. Hinds, who came into the game with two unbeaten innings, swung at a Bravo delivery out side the off-stump and got a faint edge to the wicket keeper who completed a very good catch.
And when Browne fell to a catch by Lendl Simmons off Dave Mohammed for 55 off 56 deliveries, at 95 for five, the game was back in Trinidad & Tobago's hands.
It went down to 14 runs to get in the final over, which was bowled by left-arm spinner Mohammed, but after picking up five runs off the first two deliveries, Derrick Bishop was stumped off the fourth ball, leaving Benn to score nine runs for victory.
Samuel Badree 2-18 and Dave Mohammed 2-22 took most wickets.