Hard-hitting allrounder Keiron Pollard will join the T&T team tonight as the Red Force seeks an improved batting performance following Sunday’s opening fixture in the Caribbean T20 tournament, which bowled off at the Queen’s Park Oval.
The local team mustered just 128 for nine from their 20 overs against Jamaica who were five without loss after eight balls when rain washed out the rest of the match.
The champions will be hoping the elements stay away tonight so that they can have an even chance at defeating the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) at 8pm.
T&T and Jamaica both got two points each, as opposed to four for a win.
Pollard’s return is certain to boost the team which gave an indifferent batting show on opening night.
He returned from Australia on Sunday night after playing for the Adelaide Strikers in the ‘Big Bash’.
Team manager Omar Khan said yesterday that Pollard’s presence is certain to lift the team. “Pollard will add that depth to the middle order plus his experience would do the team the world of good. He has really matured as a player and we are looking forward to great things from him in this tournament.”
With the tournament being played as a round robin format leading to the knockout stage, no team wants to be denied an opportunity to gain full points.
T&T head coach David Williams said yesterday said his team was confident of victoiry despite making just 128 runs. “It was going to be a cracker. On that pitch, in those conditions, we felt we could defend our score. We felt we were about 15 runs short of the target we were looking for, but we knew we had the bowling to restrict Jamaica. It was looking like a tight finish in the making. We felt it would go down to the wire, but we were confident of winning,” added the former T&T and West Indies wicket-keeper.
Junior Bennett, Jamaica’s longstanding coach, was also confident his players could pull off what would have been a surprise win against the two-time defending champions.
Chasing 129 runs at 6.45 runs per over, the Jamaicans would have harboured ambitions of upsetting the defending champions but it would have been difficult on a pitch that was playing slow and low and with T&T boasting spinners Samuel Badree and Sunil Narine.
T&T won the toss and decided to bat first but disciplined bowling by the Jamaicans kept the batsmen in check as they found scoring hard to come by. Bowling stump to stump on a pitch where the ball was not coming on, the T&T boys had to invent ways to get runs and this caused their downfall.
Darren Bravo promised much and after taking 15 runs from the sixth over bowled by Dave Bernard the crowd would have anticipated a ‘special’ offering.
However, he fell trying to force over the top for 13. With the score reading 3/39, skipper Ramdin was left to do repair work with the older Bravo.
The two had the most fruitful partnership of the innings, gathering 48 runs in 46 balls. Ramdin fell for 19 and Bravo followed for 30 just as the momentum was going T&T’s way.
Bravo slashed his way to 30 off 27 balls with two fours and towards the end Narine slapped 16 off nine balls to give T&T a fighting chance. Left arm seamer Krishna Santokie, using the slower ball to good effect finished with 3/17 off four overs.
In the first match at 4 pm today Jamaica comes up against Barbados.
TT vs Jamaica
W Perkins c Russell b Bernard 9
L Simmons c Thomas b Russell 11
D Bravo c Bonner b Bernard 13
D Ramdin b Brown 19
DJ Bravo c Campbell b Miller 30
J Mohammed b Cotterell 4
S Narine b Santokie 16
K Cooper lbw Santokie 8
Y Ottley run out 9
S Badree not out 1
S Gabriel not out 0
Extras lb 1, w 7 8
Total for 9 wkts (20ovs) 128
Fall of wkts: 19, 39, 39, 87, 89, 110, 110, 127, 128.
Bowling: K Santokie 4-0-17-2, S Cotterell 4-0-36-1 (w2), D Bernard 3-0-24-2 (w4), A Russell 4-0-25-1, N Miller 4-0-18-1 (1w), O Brown 1-0-7-1.
N Bonner not out 4
J Campbell not out 0
Extras 1b 1
Total without loss (1.2ovs) 5
Bowling: S Gabriel 1-0-4-0, S Badree 0.2-0-0-0.
Result: Match abandoned.
T&T 2pts, Jamaica 2pts.