Trinidad and Tobago Red Force capitalised on a limp batting effort from Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners to pull off an easy 41 run win, and cruise into the final of the NAGICO Super50 here late Friday.
Defending only 155 under the Duckworth/Lewis method in the rain-hit semi-final reduced to 32 overs per side, Red Force never looked like losing once they struck two early blows, and managed to restrict Marooners to 114 all out off 30.4 overs at Queen’s Park Oval.
They will now face Guyana Jaguars in Sunday’s final.
Opener Paul Palmer top scored with 37 and captain Chadwick Walton and Cassius Burton both hit 20, but the rest of the Marooners batting collapsed in the face of a disciplined Red Force attack.
Out-of-favour West Indies seamer Ravi Rampaul finished with three for 17 to earn Man-of-the-Match honours, leading a strong performance by Red Force’s senior bowlers which crippled the Marooners innings.
Seamer Dwayne Bravo claimed three for 22 while medium pacer Kevon Cooper (2-13) and off-spinner Sunil Narine (2-20) picked up two wickets apiece.
Their performance trumped that of rookie pacer Chris Powell who grabbed a five-wicket haul as Marooners restricted Red Force to 159 all out.
Sent in, the hosts never really got going and were bowled out in the final over.
Powell picked up five for 22 including the wickets of the Bravo brothers, Darren and Dwayne, in successive deliveries, while leg-spinner Keron Cottoy (2-22) and seamer Kyle Mayers (2-37) finished with two wickets apiece.
Jason Mohammed top scored with 48 from 56 balls while opener Jeremy Solozano gathered a breezy 37 from 52 deliveries.
Rain delayed the start by nearly an hour and then returned after nine balls with Red Force on two runs for one wicket – left-hander Evin Lewis going without scoring caught behind to Mayers off the third ball of the game.
A break of three hours and ten minutes followed but once the skies cleared, Marooners made key strikes to leave Red Force struggling at 34 for three in the seventh over.
Darren Bravo looked ominous, stroking two fours in a scoring 13 from 20 balls before unleashing a poor shot, driving Powell to Cottoy at deep cover.
Off the very next ball, Dwayne Bravo was struck in front by one that nipped back, as Marooners took command of the innings.
Mohammed and Solozano then came together in the best stand of the innings, adding 56 for the fourth wicket to deny Marooners any further immediate success.
Mohammed struck two fours and three sixes while left-hander Solozano hammered five fours and a six, before he was run out in a terrible mix up at 90 for four in the 18th over.
From thereon, wickets fell steadily as the last six fell for 69 runs.
West Indies big-hitter Kieron Pollard flattered to deceive, lashing a straight six before skying a catch off Cottoy in the next over, the 23rd of the innings.
The key wicket came when Mohammed sliced Cottoy to Kavem Hodge at point, leaving T&T in deeper trouble.
In reply, Marooners lost opener Shacaya Thomas (5) and Kyle Hope (2) with just 15 runs on the board in the sixth over, both prised out by the lethal Rampaul.
Palmer, who faced 59 balls and counted six fours, then inspired two small partnerships as Marooners attempted a fightback. He put on 36 for the third wicket with Walton and another 21 runs for the fourth wicket with Kavem Hodge who got seven.
However, Cooper struck twice, bowling Walton in the 15th over and also rattling Hodge’s stumps in the 21st over, to put Red Force on top again.
And once Narine accounted for dangerman Palmer in the next over, Marooners’ hopes of a win took a huge hit.
T&T Red Force Innings: 159 All Out (31.3/32 Overs). Jason Mohammed 48, Jeremy Solozano 37, Darren Bravo 13, Sunil Narine 11; Christopher Powell 7-0-22-5, Keron Cottoy 6-0-22-2, Kyle Mayers 5.3-0-37-2, Kavem Hodge 7-0-26-0.
CCC Marooners Innings: 114 All Out (30.4/32 Overs). Paul Palmer 37, Cassius Burton 20, Chadwick Walton*+ 20, Kavem Hodge 7; Ravi Rampaul 6-0-17-3, Dwayne Bravo 5.4-0-22-3, Kevon Cooper 7-0-13-2, Sunil Narine 6-0-20-2.
T&T Red Force won by 41 runs (D/L Method)