Holder leads Barbados past T&T, into semis
Needing a win to secure a spot in the Nagico Super50 semi-final round, Barbados knocked off previously undefeated Trinidad & Tobago by three wickets on Sunday at Queen's Park Oval. Barbados sent the hosts in and held them to 226 thanks in large part to captain Jason Holder's 4 for 35.
Only three batsmen reached double digits for T&T, but each made an important contribution. Foremost among them was Darren Bravo who top scored with 82 after coming back into the lineup for the first time in the tournament since returning from the Test tour of Australia. He received quality support from Kjorn Ottley, who made 38, but more significantly Denesh Ramdin, whose 57 was part of an 89-run fifth-wicket stand with Bravo.
Though no one reached 50 for Barbados in reply, every member of the top seven contributed a double-figure score. Kraigg Brathwaite was the best of the lot with 48 off 87 balls as he teamed with Shai Hope for a methodical 62-run second-wicket stand to get the chase going in the right direction.
Holder and Shane Dowrich added another 54 for the sixth wicket before Rayad Emrit intervened with wickets off back-to-back balls to nab Holder for 26 and Carlos Brathwaite for a golden duck to set up a hat-trick ball with Barbados still 28 short of victory. Dowrich managed to see off the threat though and carried Barbados across the line with an unbeaten 29 off 50. Emrit took 3 for 45 in defeat, though T&T still finished atop Group A. As a result, they will face Windward Islands, who finished second in Group B in one semi-final next week while Barbados will play Guyana in the other knockout contest.
Jamaica survived an upset scare from ICC Americas, scratching out a one-wicket win earlier in the day, a result which meant Barbados had to beat T&T in order to avoid a net run rate tiebreaker coming into play to decide the last semi-final spot. ICC Americas won the toss and elected to bat first, posting their best score of the event and third-highest for any team at this year's tournament in making 253 for 8.
Ruvindu Gunasekera blasted 87 at the top order to underpin the innings. Gunasekera added 99 for the third wicket with Nitish Kumar, who made 43. Though Gunasekera fell in the 42nd over just 13 short of a ton, the strong platform he laid allowed the middle order to play aggressively in adding 95 over the final 10 overs. Srimantha Wijeratne led the surge with 45 off 28 balls while Hamza Tariq cracked a rapid 35 off 14. Sheldon Cottrell had a mixed day, getting hit hard by Gunasekera before claiming three wickets at the death, including Wijeratne and Tariq, to end with 3 for 57 in seven overs.
Jamaica started the chase in aggressive fashion in pursuit of a bonus point which would have put added pressure on Barbados, but their eagerness backfired in the face of a disciplined ICC Americas attack. Hammad Shahid struck in the first over to remove Jermaine Harrison before Ali Khan trapped Trevon Griffith at 23 for 4. Captain John Campbell made 82 off 74 balls, including fifty-plus stands for the third and fourth wickets with Andre McCarthy and Jermaine Blackwood, but when he fell at 148 for 4 in the 25th over, the chase for the bonus point came undone.
Kumar's part-time offspin caused major problems for Jamaica in claiming not just Campbell but also Jermaine Blackwood and Devon Thomas to put Jamaica in strife at 218 for 7 in the 35th. Four balls later, Kumar was responsible for a frantic run-out of Brandon King - chasing a legbye after an unsuccessful leg before shout by Khan - by charging in with an underhanded strike from midwicket. Khan yorked Damion Jacobs for a duck in the same over to complete a stretch of three wickets in seven balls for no runs to make it 218 for 9 with Jamaica still 36 runs adrift of the target.
Though the pursuit for the 40-over bonus point had to be ditched, the last man to the crease Marquino Mindley came to Jamaica's rescue with an unbeaten 24 off 37 as the ICC Americas unit spent the next 10 overs unable to dislodge Mindley or his partner Aldane Thomas. With scores level, a boundary to start the 46th ended the match, sending the ICC Americas squad home empty-handed.
Windward Islands held on by five runs to defeat Leeward Islands in St Kitts, in a match reduced to 49 overs following early morning rain. Sunil Ambris continued his fine tournament with 74 off 84 balls in the Windwards total of 243 for 6. Ambris followed a 75-run stand with Tyrone Theophile for the fourth wicket by adding another 82 with Andre Fletcher and eventually fell to Daron Cruickshank at the start of the 45th. Cruickshank also claimed Fletcher to finish with 2 for 47, while Quinton Boatswain took 2 for 31, for Leewards.
In reply, Orlando Peters made 77 at the top of the Leewards chase, but no one came close to following his lead. Nkrumah Bonner made 35 and added 65 for the fourth wicket with Peters but by the 42nd over, both men had left with Leewards needing 56 off the final 7.1 overs with five wickets in hand.
It was not an unwieldy equation and by the start of the final over, 13 were still needed to win. After a single and a four off the first two balls, Jeremiah Louis was run out attempting a second run, leaving seven needed off the last three. A dot and a leg by followed to put the No. 11 Boatswain on strike for his only delivery with six needed to win but another dot followed to end the match. Delorn Johnson took 3 for 36 for Windwards.
Guyana completed the highest successful chase of the tournament in tracking down a Combined Campuses and Colleges total of 254 for 7 to win by five wickets at Warner Park. Rovman Powell and Anthony Alleyne both made fifties for CCC to set Guyana a stiff target but it ultimately was not enough.
Assad Fudadin struck the tournament's third century and carried his bat in making 103 not out off 136 balls for Guyana. The opener added 90 for the second wicket with Leon Johnson, whose 56 was the other major score in the chase. After Royston Crandon retired hurt on 29 off 27 balls, Steven Jacobs came in to hit 15 not out as he and Fudadin helped Guyana to victory with three balls to spare.