T&T end record Jamaica streak to reach final
Trinidad & Tobago 170 (Simmons 79, Miller 5-41) and 179 for 7 (Imran Khan 50*, Bernard 6-39) beat Jamaica 246 (Baugh 88*, Richards 5-46) and 102 (Baugh 38*, Richards 3-21, Emrit 3-25) by 3 wickets
Trinidad & Tobago held on to a three-wicket victory over five-time defending champions Jamaica in their semi final, and will proceed to the final on May 9 where they will play Barbados. It was a huge upset as it ended a run of 15 consecutive wins for Jamaica in the Caribbean first-class domestic competition.
Jamaica chose to bat, and were 87 for 6 at one stage as the T&T bowlers bowled incisive spells. Carlton Baugh played the lone hand with an unbeaten 88, with Tamar Lambert scoring a vital 38. Last man Sheldon Cotterrell scored 44 to help boost Jamaica's innings to 246. Marlon Richards took 5 for 46, while Imran Khan took two wickets.
T&T lost opener Jeremy Solozano early through a run out, but Lendl Simmons and Yannick Cariah shared a 64-run partnership to help steady the innings. However T&T's innings was kept in check by Nikita Miller, who finished the innings with figures of 5 for 41 in 23 overs. Contributions from Simmons (79), Cariah (26) and Akeal Hosein (24) helped push the T&T score to 170 before they were dismissed.
Although they began with a lead of 76, Jamaica did not fare any better in their second innings, as Richards and Rayad Emrit struck to pick up three wickets each. Apart from a 39-run partnership between David Bernard and Baugh, who once again top-scored with an unbeaten 38, the team was shot out for 102, leaving T&T 179 runs to chase.
Jamaica's chase looked as good as over with the score at 73 for 6 but Imran Khan and Emrit ensured the team would make it to the target, albeit seven wickets down. Bernard waged a lone war, taking six of the seven T&T wickets, and was not helped by two dropped catches.
"It was a fantastic effort. It was a real fight," T&T manager Omar Khan told the Trinidad Express after the match. "Down to the end the guys rally showed a lot of character. In the batting department we continue to struggle, but Imran Khan and young Katwaroo gave us a partnership (of 57) and we really fought.
"And then Imran and Rayad Emrit. We knew we had batting to the end, but at the end of the day the guys have to be commended."