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Kern De Freitas
April 26, 2008
Jamaica 293 (Nash 117, Lambert 50) and 71 for 1 beat Trinidad & Tobago 121 (Miller 5-29) and 241 (Mohammed 57, Kelly 50, Miller 5-92) by nine wickets
Only sensible batting by Dave Mohammed (57) ensured T&T had something to bowl at, featuring in partnerships of 34 with Richard Kelly and 41 with Amit Jaggernauth but, in the end, an overall lead of 69 would never be enough. Mohammed, as he did with his unbeaten first-innings top-score of 30, proved the mainstay of the T&T innings but eventually handed Nikita Miller his second five-wicket haul of the match, in the form of a leading edge back to the bowler.
Miller's wonderful performance and the rewards he reaped were long in coming, though. In four years, before this match, the left-arm spinner had best figures in an innings of 4 for 6. In this match alone, he completed a five-wicket haul twice, ending with 10 for 12.
For Jamaica, batting a second time, it was a simple task to finish off the match with a session's comfort. Brenton Parchment got them going with a sweetly-timed straight four off Ravi Rampaul, but that was all he would contribute, Rampaul finding the edge of his bat with a peach of a delivery, collected by Lendl Simmons. Simmons again filled the wicket-keeping position for Denesh Ramdin, who was injured by a Daren Powell bouncer on the first day.
But after losing Parchment, Marlon Samuels and Danza Hyatt rushed to the victory total of 71 in just 11.4 overs, Samuels in particular proving extremely savage on Richard Kelly - who went for 24 in his two overs - for an unbeaten 37 of 28 balls including three sixes and two fours. Hyatt struck 23 off 33 at his end, to complete a comprehensive victory.
Jamaica's task, with T&T 43 without loss overnight chasing a first-innings deficit of 172, was made easier by some aimless batting. By the time Mohammed strode to the crease just before lunch, the course of the match had already been decided. He only prolonged the inevitable. T&T began the day with a chance, but seven runs after the resumption, captain Daren Ganga, totally out of character, played the most horrendous baseball swing and was bowled middle stump for 27 with the score on 50.
"It was a little bit of premeditation," Ganga admitted following the match. "My premeditation got the better of me. It paid the price for most of our batters. Some guys were probably too attacking and it was something we really didn't find ourselves in for the entire season."
That dismissal set the tone for the rest of the innings, T&T losing six wickets before lunch. Like bowling pins, one by one they fell down. Darren Bravo was unfortunate to be adjudged caught by Parchment off Miller, the ball striking his front pad. Adrian Barath, the young opener, played with patience to reach 33, despite a couple scares, but became Miller's second wicket when he was outfoxed by the left-armer and edged to Samuels at slip. Simmons - lbw to a Jerome Taylor in-swinger - and Kieron Pollard soon followed, Pollard holing out to Powell, again off Miller, after dispatching him for two sixes.
Ramdin was caught at slip for six, undone by the Samuels/Miller combination, before Kelly and Mohammed took T&T to 145, with Kelly on 32, including two sixes, and Mohammed on six at lunch. The left handed all-rounder spanked two more sixes after lunch to reach a fine even 50, off 34 balls, but one swing too many looped to Samuels at slip in Lambert's first over.
Some prudent batting from Rampaul (19) and Mohammed pushed the visitors towards the 200 mark, but Rampaul fell into a trap set by leg-spinner Odean Brown to be snapped up by Miller at midwicket. Jaggernauth held his end long enough for Mohammed to register a patient, well-deserved 50 off 98 balls. Three balls later Mohammed got a leading edge back to Miller to spark celebrations from the bowler, whose performance earned him the Man-of-the-Match award.
Samuels and Hyatt then quickly closed off a season in which T&T, except for a brief Stanford 20/20 fling, played second fiddle to the Jamaicans.
© Trinidad & Tobago Express
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