Trinidad & Tobago v Jamaica, Carib Beer Cup, 3rd day January 9, 2006

Tough task for Jamaica

Mark Pouchet

Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) are sure to chase an outright victory on the final day of their Carib Beer Cricket Series match against Jamaica at the Sir Frank Worrell Ground in St Augustine.

When play was called for the day, Trinidad had compiled a lead of 371 runs innings and were likely to declare overnight. After bowling out Jamaica for 193 in reply to T&T's first innings of 386, their second innings stood at 178 for 7 when Richard Kelly and Rayad Emrit walked off to the pavilion at stumps. It is a commanding position, which did not necessitate the enforcement of the follow-on, and puts Jamaica on the back foot when play gets underway on the final day.

A combination of good, disciplined bowling and a massive first-innings advantage proved too much for the visitors. When play resumed, Kelly and the probing spin of debutant Sanjeev Gooljar gave the Jamaican batsmen a lot to ponder. Except for Carlton Baugh, their wicketkeeper, the batsmen's pondering led to hesitation, and hesitation and good consistent line and length bowling led to wickets.

The first hour of play saw Tamar Lambert and Nikita Miller struggle to get any momentum against Kelly and Gooljar. In fact, in the first hour of play, the T&T bowling was plain stingy. Twenty three runs trickled from 17 overs and that sort of persistent tight bowling had Miller (8) playing away from his body only to snick an edge through to Denesh Ramdin, the wicketkeeper, who took a comfortable catch with the score on 119. Jamaica were reeling with four wickets down and a huge T&T score staring them in the face.

The sustained effort of the T&T bowlers ensured the pressure would not be released. Lambert, who faced 86 balls for his 26 runs and was dropped by Mohammed at point off Kelly on 19, was deceived by Gooljar to give him his first wicket in the regional tournament. Dave Bernard, a former West Indies player, also struggled, facing 66 balls in 70 minutes for his meagre eight runs.

It was only Baugh (30) who looked like ever getting on top of the T&T bowlers with his confident driving and quick running between the wickets. But once Dwayne Bravo enticed him to pull a delivery that came onto him quicker than expected and it looped high for Lendl Simmons to take a very good catch running back to long on, the few hundred spectators knew it would only be a matter of time before the Jamaican innings folded.

Gregory Mahabir grabbed a spectacular two-handed catch inches from the ground when Gareth Breese (3) would have felt he deserved a boundary after playing a well-timed drive to mid-wicket off Bravo. Dave Mohammed accounted for Jerome Taylor (19) and Andrew Richardson to bring the innings to a close.

T&T, according to the tournament rules, had the opportunity to enforce the follow-on. In the end, it did not matter. Despite a reckless shot from Simmons (22), attempting to pull a Jermaine Lawson bouncer to mid-wicket but only able to pick out Richardson at mid-on, and the quick fall of Daren Ganga (4), bowled by Bernard, and Bravo, who edged a wide delivery to Baugh from Richardson with the score on 45, T&T got some positive impetus from Jason Mohammed (21, 2x4s) and Kelly, whose most impressive shot was an immaculate lift off Richardson to beyond the long-on boundary for six. Kelly also banged six fours to rush T&T to their dominating advantage.