The people of Johannesburg have been without rain for the past three months but yesterday it came down in all its force and in the process brought a watery end to T&T’s campaign in the 2012 Karbonn Smart Champions League T20 cricket series.
The T&T boys made a number of mistakes in their opening loss to Yorkshire that sent them sliding out of the tournament but yesterday they hardly put a foot wrong against Sri Lanka’s Uva Next.
The batsmen looked in prime form in compiling an impressive 181 for three of 20 overs and with the only ball they were able to bowl Shannon Gabriel sent back Dilshan Munaweera, caught at third man for a duck. Uva Next chasing 182 runs for victory was one wicket down with no run on the board when the rain Gods decided to conspire against the red, white and black and send them back to the sunny Caribbean without a win.
This is the first time that T&T has campaigned in the Champions League and gone home winless. In 2009 they were beaten in the finals by NSW Blues in India, and last year they reached the main draw, only to narrowly lose out.
Earlier, T&T got off to a flying start as William Perkins took the aerial route and started to blast the white ball over the ropes. With this game being played 2000 metres above sea level, the air is thin and the ball travels miles.
Perkins could have attested to that, as he hammered the Uva new ball bowlers in a spanking knock of 32 that came with just 33 runs on the board.
The innings lasted 15 balls and included two sixes and four fours. At the fall of his wicket, Simmons, who was a mere spectator for the first few overs, took up the leadership role and showed that he can hit big sixes as well. He smashed his way to 34 in between losing Evin Lewis for one.
Simmons’ innings used up 30 balls and included three fours and two sixes.
The Lara-esque Darren Bravo continued to play classy shots in and around all the brutal ball beating and together with skipper Denesh Ramdin took T&T to their impressive score.
The two started very sensibly gathering the ones and twos and after a while they blossomed and started to take boundary after boundary off hapless bowlers. Ramdin, as cheeky as ever, was the quicker of the two and in the end finished with an unbeaten 50 off 31 balls with six fours and a six over point that smashed into the cheerleaders.
Bravo finished unbeaten on 54 off 41 balls with nine hits to the fence. The two added an unbroken 95 runs for the fourth wicket off just 62 balls.
TT vs Uva Next
L Simmons b Gul 34
W Perkins b Senanayake 32
E Lewis c Zoysa b McDonald 1
D Bravo not out 54
D Ramdin not out 50
Extras w8, nb1, lb1 10
Total for 3 wkts (20ovs) 181
Fall of wkts: 33, 40, 86.
Bowling: J Oram 4-0-37-0, U Gul 4-0-38-1, S Senanayake 4-0-43-1, A McDonald 4-0-28-1, D Munaweera 2-0-17-0.
Uva Next Inns
D Munaweera c Perkins b Gabriel 0
B Rajapakse not out 0
Total for 1 wkt (0.1ovs) 0
Fall of wkt: 0.
Bowling: Shannon Gabriel 0.1-0-0-1
Result: Match abandoned
Team P W L NR PTS Net RR
Yorkshire 2 2 0 0 8 0.50
Uva Next 2 0 1 1 2 -0.24
T&T 2 0 1 1 2 -0.77