Darren Bravo blitz gives T&T easy win
Trinidad and Tobago 157 for 7 (Darren Bravo 65, Dwayne Bravo 28, Santokie 5-24) beat Jamaica 108 (Dwayne Bravo 2-13, S Ganga 2-19, Pollard 2-19) by 49 runs
Trinidad and Tobago flexed their muscles in front of an adoring home crowd to beat Jamaica and surge past them to top the group. Once the rains cleared after washing out the first encounter of the day at the Queens Park Oval, Darren Bravo ensured the hosts claimed bragging rights in Zone A with a delightfully aggressive innings.
In a match reduced to 18 overs a side, Jamaica elected to field with the intention of exploiting any moisture left on the pitch. William Perkins kept them concerned in the first over, lofting Andre Russell over long off for six and flicking through midwicket for four. The tone of the innings was about to change in the next over though.
David Bernard cramped Adrian Barath into chopping a pull shot onto his off stump. Jamaica's captain Tamar Lambert replaced Russell with Krishmar Santokie for the third over and the move paid off immediately. Perkins paid for his impetuosness, walking across the stumps to the first ball and losing his leg stump as he failed to connect with a paddle sweep. The hosts were under pressure now and Jamaica were rampant in the look-out for another early strike. It came in the first ball of Santokie's second over, Lendl Simmons slicing one outside off stump straight to point. Round one to Jamaica.
The tide was about to turn though, for the second time in the innings, and T&T captain Daren Ganga kickstarted the revival by lofting Bernard for six in the sixth over. Jamaica blinked first, replacing Santokie with Nikita Miller in the seventh over, thereby handing the hosts an escape route. Ganga fell in the eighth trying to carve Lambert over the cover fence, but by now Darren Bravo had settled in well. He checked by dispatching a long hop from Miller over midwicket, and followed it up by lofting over-pitched offerings from Russell and Lambert over the leg side boundaries. Dwayne Bravo did the smart thing, turning the strike over to his aggressive brother and in the process, getting his eye in.
The crowd of 16,500 began to get behind their team as Dwayne opened up, looting Wavell Hinds for a four and a six in the 13th over which went for 19 runs. Darren continued to feast on Miller's left-arm spin, running him down to third man to reach his fifty before launching him over long off for six. The Bravo brothers had added 69 in 39 balls when Santokie sent Dwayne back with the third ball of his second spell. With Kieron Pollard still in the reserves, T&T were set to finish with a flourish, but Santokie had other plans. He castled Pollard with an inswinger and foxed Darren into lofting straight to midwicket to complete a rare five-for. Russell kept things tight at the other end as T&T managed just 31 runs in the last four overs. The damage however, had already been done.
Jamaica's chase was thwarted at the start, Dwayne pinging Brendon Parchment's pads in the front of middle and leg. Xavier Marshall and Marlon Samuels kept attacking in a stand of 42 off 32 balls before Sherwin Ganga won a tight lbw call as Samuels advanced down the pitch. Danza Hyatt departed cheaply in the seventh over before Pollard got Marshall to loft straight to Daren Ganga as the innings began to fall apart.
Dave Mohammed quelled the Jamaican challenge in his tenth over, getting Lambert to slice straight to point. With 101 runs required off the last seven overs, Carlton Baugh had no option other than all out attack. He launched Mohammad over midwicket and long on, before repeating the treatment to Pollard. He however ran out of luck in the same over, finding Dwayne at long on. Thereafter, Jamaica's final score was a matter of purely academic interest as the raucous crowd at the Queen's Park Oval cheered their team all the way to the top of their group.