Pollard, spinners star in massive T&T win
Trinidad & Tobago put in an impressive all-round performance in North Sound, Antigua, to dole out a 167-run defeat - the second-largest ever in Twenty20 cricket - to Leeward Islands. Kieron Pollard, who blitzed an unbeaten 56 off 15 balls that included five sixes in an over, was named Player of the Match. His knock helped lift T&T's total to an imposing 211 for 3, following which the spinners, Samuel Badree and Sunil Narine, polished off Leeward for 44 - the second-lowest team total in Twenty20s.
T&T's new captain, Denesh Ramdin, chose to bat and the decision paid off as the top order clicked. Lendl Simmons and Adrian Barath, the openers, laid the platform with a solid century stand, before Darren Bravo and Pollard exploded. Leeward were behind from the outset of the chase, when Badree had Austin Richards caught behind first ball. He also got the other opener, Kieran Powell, for a duck and that set the tone for the innings. Badree finished with three wickets, while Narine ran through lower order with four scalps in one over. Ravi Rampaul and Bravo provided adequate support, claiming the remaining three wickets between them in very tight spells.
"There is more to come. 56 off 15 balls, not bad! The best is yet to come," Pollard said about his knock. "Everyone is fully aware that I'm not at full fitness but I had a job to do for Trinidad and Tobago. I'm able to bat but I can't run around in the field and dive around and obviously I can't bowl as yet either. I'm still working to try to get up to 75 percent (fitness level). When I do there will be more to come. The best is yet to come.
"We got such a great start from Adrian and Lendl and it was a simple matter of me coming down in the middle and finishing off the job for the team at that point in time. After hitting the first four balls for six the thought went through my mind about hitting all six for sixes.
"It didn't happen but I hit the last one for another six and more important we got 30 in the over and that pushed us to 200. It was good that we were able to get a huge score and then bowl and field so well to bowl them out. We are a happy team."
In the second match of the day, Windward Islands eased to a nine-wicket win against Canada, with 21 balls to spare. Canada chose to bat, but could not get any momentum going in their innings. No one could make more than Ruvindu Gunasekera's 38, and only Gunasekera and Zubin Surkari, who was out for 5, scored at quicker than a run a ball. As a result, Canada finished with a rather meagre 111 for 7 in their 20.
Canada had a glimmer of a chance early in the chase, when Henry Osinde had Miles Bascombe cheaply, but thereafter Windward cruised. Opener Johnson hit an unbeaten 61, while Andre Fletcher made 38 not out to carry Windward home in the 17th over.