Barbados 6 for 1 trail Trinidad & Tobago 259 (Simmons 58, Lara 54, Ramdin 51) by 253 runs
Trinidad and Tobago had front-runners Barbados on the back foot on a day of drama on the opening day in their Carib Beer Series match. Replying to T&T's first innings total of 259, the Barbadians, in pursuit of one point to secure the Carib Beer Cup, crumbled to 15 for 4 when stumps were drawn at the Carlton Sports Club, Barbados' newest first-class venue.
Mervyn Dhillon jolted Barbados with a couple of wickets in a dramatic final hour
© Getty Images|
In an electrifying 45 minutes before the close, Mervyn Dillon snared two wickets for six runs from five overs, Dwayne Bravo engineered a sensational run out, and Richard Kelly added another wicket to set things up nicely for T&T. Dillon struck with his first delivery to have Wayne Blackman, the opening batsman, lbw for one. Four overs later, Kurt Wilkinson, playing on his home ground, was run out for 3, when Bravo ran about 10 yards from point to cover, swooped on the ball, and hit the stumps at the bowler's end in one fluid motion.
Bravo was in the action again next over, when Dillon had Hinds, a century-maker in each innings of the previous match, caught at square-cover for a duck essaying a backfoot drive. Dale Richards, the opener playing on home turf, was soon caught behind for 8 to prompt Carnival-like scenes among the rejoicing Trinidadians.
Earlier, Lendl Simmons top-scored with 58, Brian Lara gave support with 54, and Denesh Ramdin, batting at five, contributed a vital 51, after the visitors were sent in to bat. Fidel Edwards was the most successful Barbados bowler with figures of 3 for 87 from 17 overs. Edwards gave Barbados early success, when he had Imran Khan, the opening batsman, caught behind for 2 edging a backfoot drive.
T&T had reached 84 for 2 at the lunch interval on a hard, true pitch under sunny skies. Daren Ganga, the T&T captain, joined Simmons at the crease and consolidated their position with a 67-run stand for the second wicket. Fortune favoured Simmons twice in this period though. On 11, Floyd Reifer, standing in the slips, floored an easy chance off Ryan Nurse, and on 13, Bradshaw failed to react quickly enough to hold a low chance from a flawed cross-batted stroke. Just when it looked like these two were getting on top, Ganga was deceived by the flight of a delivery from Hinds, bowling his left-arm spin, and was caught and bowled for 33 just before the interval.
After lunch, T&T lost their way, although they continued to score runs at a steady pace to reach 184 for six. Lara survived two loud shouts for lbw just prior to lunch, but entertained the crowd after the interval with a few of his trademark strokes. Lara and Simmons looked to be in total control, but the young opening batsman essayed a sweep at his 133rd ball and top-edged to give the fine leg fielder a simple catch.
Simmons struck eight fours in close to three hours. Lara had just reached his half-century and celebrated with a boundary off Bradshaw, before substitute fielder Kirk Edwards held a stunning, low catch at cover to send the multiple world batting record-holder on his way after one and three-quarter hours in which he struck seven fours and one six from 75 balls.
Barbados did not have to wait long for more success. Bravo's wretched form continued, when he offered a straightforward bat-pad catch to forward short leg off spin bowler Austin. He made 1. Then on the stroke of tea, Kelly was adjudged lbw to Bradshaw.
After the break, Ramdin, who Hinds dropped on 5 at second slip off Bradshaw, helped put some beef on the T&T total alongside the tailenders. He added a valuable 52 for the seventh wicket with Rayad Emrit, who struck four fours and one six in 28 from 29 balls before edging Edwards to the wicketkeeper. The rest of the T&T batsmen failed to give the scorers too much work, but Ramdin kept them going before he was last out having struck seven fours from 111 balls in just over two-and-a-half hours. The real drama, however, unfolded in the 13 overs available to Barbados before stumps.
Barbados top the standings with 36 points, and T&T are tied for second with Guyana on 24 points. Both teams have already qualified for the semi-finals.