Mohammed and Emrit bowl T&T to victory
The afternoon sun was still out, though a shower was on the way to St Augustine. But in a real sense, Daren Ganga's side hardly had to break a sweat to complete their comprehensive and thoroughly deserved 282-run win in this Carib Beer Cricket Series fixture at the Sir Frank Worrell Ground at UWI, St Augustine. Routed for an embarrassing 89 in their second innings, due in the main to Dave Mohammed's five-wicket haul and Rayad Emrit's telling opening spell yesterday morning (10-3-13-3), the defending four-day champions will not look back with either pleasure or pride on their work in this match, particularly yesterday.
On a pitch where the greatest difficulty for the batsmen was its slowness, the Jamaicans - with West Indies players Wavell Hinds, Marlon Samuels and even Carlton Baugh, the wicketkeeper-batsman, in their line-up - let themselves down badly with their approach.
With T&T declaring overnight on 178 for 7, the Jamaicans knew that survival was their only recourse, not chasing 372 for victory on the fourth and final day. It is not a prospect they relish, this playing for time. But, sadly, they never seemed to try. For that, credit focused T&T and Emrit in particular. He went wicket-less in the first innings, but yesterday morning he put up his hand, bowling three of the first four in the order.
With the score on just seven, out-of-touch Hinds's defence was breached. At 22, Samuels showed his careless side again, bowled middle stump as he drove loosely, and then at 24, Tamar Lambert also lost his middle stump to another full and deadly accurate Emrit delivery. Ganga's somewhat controversial decision not to enforce the follow-on was being justified very early. And before lunch, Mohammed made his skipper's decision look even better with the wickets of Brenton Parchment - who drove tamely to Jason Mohammed at mid-off-and upset Dave Bernard Jnr, who lost an lbw decision to a ball which skidded onto him as he played back.
Lunch was taken at 58 for 5 and perhaps only Bernard could be excused for his failure. Baugh, the near hero of this corresponding fixture last year in Tobago with a century that threatened to get Jamaica to an improbable victory target, had the usually steady Gareth Breese for his partner. But neither of them would give much trouble this time. With one run added after the interval, Breese, strangely reckless, skied a lofted drive to Jason Mohammed off Dave. The Jamaican UWI students, watching upstairs in Canada Hall at the southern end, must not have felt like waving their large national flag. There was no pride in performance to applaud out on the field.
Baugh, who didn't attempt to curb his natural aggression in the circumstances, followed 17 runs later at 76, for a top-score of 39 made in 43 balls. Predictably, he fell on his blade, miscuing an attempted swing at Mohammed to substitute fielder Serwin Ganga, deputising for Gregory Mahabir, who Baugh had earlier struck a blow on the right arm.
The end came even more swiftly thereafter, the last three wickets falling for the addition of 13. Mohammed put Jamaica out of their misery with his fifth wicket-Andrew Richardson, who pushed him into Tishan Maraj's hands at silly point. But before that, debutant leg-spinner Sanjiv Gooljar had got himself on a hat-trick with the successive dismissals of Jerome Taylor and Jermaine Lawson.
Full points to T&T. Fully deserved.