2016
01.24

Trinidad and Tobago Red Force were crowned Regional Super50 champions for a second straight year after dominating a star-studded Barbados Pride by 72 runs in a lopsided Final here Saturday night.

Stylish left-hander Darren Bravo perished agonizingly short of three figures for 97 as Red Force piled up a challenging 270 for seven but Pride collapsed to 31 for four in reply and never recovered, eventually slumping to 198 all out off 42.5 overs.

Shai Hope top-scored with a patient 50 while West Indies teammate Carlos Brathwaite blasted a quick-fire 46 off 32 balls to give Pride a flicker of hope. Once they were separated, another three wickets fell for ten runs as the innings tailed away to 149 for nine in the 35th over.

Tail-enders Sulieman Benn and Jomel Warrican frustratingly held up Red Force’s victory celebrations by adding a breezy 49 off 51 deliveries for the last wicket.

The adventurous Benn struck 27 not out off 28 balls while Warrican made 24 from 31 deliveries before missing a heave at seamer Rayad Emrit and was bowled, sparking long-awaited celebrations among the Red Force faithful.

Emrit was the best bowler with three for 46 while off-spinner Jon-Russ Jaggesar (2-30), fast bowler Marlon Richards (2-38) and left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein (2-55) all finished with two wickets each.

“I’m sure [the team] are feeling very happy inside,” an elated captain Jason Mohammed said afterward.

“The squad that we had at the beginning of the tournament, people said we would not have gotten out of the group stage so I’m sure it’s a very special feeling for those guys, and so too for our senior guys in the team with the way we played throughout the tournament.”

Sent in at Queen’s Park Oval, Red Force flourished through a 54-run, first wicket stand between the classy Kyle Hope who struck 34 and left-hander Evin Lewis who got 25.

The right-handed Hope, a Barbadian who has represented Pride in the past, faced 52 balls and struck six fours while Lewis counted four fours in a 34-ball innings.

Against the run of play, Red Force lost Lewis when he feathered a catch behind off seamer Carlos Brathwaite in the 12th over, attempting a steer to third man.

Hope followed in the 17th over, lbw to a full length delivery from medium pacer Dwayne Smith and when Kjorn Ottley drove a simple catch to Benn at cover off off-spinner Ashley Nurse for ten, Red Force had lost three wickets for 24 runs in the space of 47 balls and were stuttering on 78 for three in the 20th over.

Bravo then anchored three successive productive partnerships to leave Red Force in good shape. He added 75 for the fourth wicket with Mohammed who scored 31; another 57 for the fifth wicket with Denesh Ramdin who struck 26 and a further 43 for the sixth wicket with Emrit who finished 18 not out.

Bravo’s knock, his third half-century in as many innings in the tournament, was laced with eight fours and two sixes and came from 104 balls.

He looked in fine touch, raising his first 50 off 69 deliveries with four fours and a six – a clean hit over mid-wicket off medium pacer Dwayne Smith.

And after missing out on a century in last Wednesday’s semi-final against Guyana Jaguars when he perished for 95, Bravo seemed certain this time around to notch his sixth regional one-day hundred.

However, one ball after surviving a concerted appeal for a catch at the wicket off seamer Jason Holder in the penultimate over of the innings, Bravo chased another wide delivery to nick a catch to stand-in wicketkeeper Shai Hope.

Mohammed had earlier struck a four and a six before holing out to long-off off Benn while Ramdin counted two fours in a busy 30-ball knock before having his stumps rattled by medium pacer Carlos Brathwaite in the 44th over.

Brathwaite was the best bowler with two for 54.

In reply, Pride endured a nightmare start when they lost a clatter of wickets up front. Smith went for five in the second over, scooping a drive to Emrit at third man off Richards and the in-form Kraigg Brathwaite followed in the third over, dragging on to Emrit also for five.

Left-hander Jonathan Carter also played on to Emrit in the seventh over without scoring and an uncertain Shamarh Brooks (2) edged a defensive prod at Richards to wicketkeeper Ramdin to leave Pride in dire straits in the 10th over.

Hope, who struck four fours in a 92-ball knock, tried to repair the innings in a 32-run, fifth wicket stand with captain Holder who made 14.

However, Jaggesar struck twice in quick succession. He found Holder’s edge through to Ramdin at 63 for five in the 16th over and then claimed Shane Dowrich – earlier injured in a collision with Nurse while fielding – for 14, bowled trying to cut one that spun back sharply.

Floundering at 80 for six in the 20th, Pride were allowed to dream as Carlos Brathwaite arrived to belt six fours and two massive sixes, in a 59-run seventh wicket stand with Hope.

Brathwaite was moving into overdrive when he was adjudged lbw to one from off-spinner Narsingh Deonarine that pitched outside leg in the 32nd over.

In the next over, Hosein got Nurse to top-edge a slog to Deonarine at short third man and then claimed Hope in his next over, caught in the same position after the right-hander came down the wicket and edged an attempted lofted stroke, leaving Pride on the brink of defeat.

Scores:

RED FORCE 270 for seven off 50 overs (Darren Bravo 97, Kyle Hope 34, Jason Mohammed 31, Denesh Ramdin 26, Evin Lewis 25; Carlos Brathwaite 2-54)

PRIDE 198 all out off  42.5 overs (Shai Hope 50, Carlos Brathwaite 46, Sulieman Benn 27 not out; Rayad Emrit 3-46, Jon-Russ Jagessar 2-30, Marlon Richards 2-38, Akeal Hosein 2-55)

- windiescricket.com

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