Last update: 11-Dec-2013 6:16 am
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Red Steel hammers Zouks
It is amazing how a few days can change everything for you in sport. Last weekend, the Red Steel was struggling for a win, yesterday they hammered the St Lucia Zouks by six wickets at Sabina Park in Jamaica to put one foot into the semifinals of the Limacol Caribbean Premier League T20 tournament. Chasing a paltry 100 runs for victory, the Red Steel got home for the loss of four wickets with two overs and a ball to spare. Before play Brian Lara and Sanath Jayasuriya were seen speaking to the players and Lara, after taking a look at the pitch went straight across to skipper Dwayne Bravo for a very animated chat. When the Red Steel ran out, Mahela Jayawardene was with them and all of a sudden the Red Steel looked the part and they proved that with a decisive victory over the Zouks, sending Darren Sammy’s men tumbling out of the tournament.
Before the Red Steel players take breakfast this morning, they would know if they are into the semifinals because a victory by Guyana Amazon Warriors over the Antigua Hawksbills would send the Red Steel into the next round. If not they would need to beat the Jamaica Tallawahs in their final match of the preliminaries. Even if the Red Steel loses today against Tallawahs and Hawksbills defeat Warriors, they could still go through on net run rate. It is with this message in mind that Kevin O’Brien and Adrian Barath went to work on the target. The burly O’Brien took the attack to the St Lucians and twice deposited Garey Mathurin into the stands in one over, to signal the Red Force’s ambition. They added a rapid 56 in just 8.4 overs before both left. O’Brien’s tally was 37 off 33 balls with three fours and two sixes, while Barath carved 17 off 20 balls.
Before the target was achieved new man Mahela Jayawardene gave Sammy his first catch as wicketkeeper as he edged Mathurin to the West Indies allrounder, who was deputising for an injured Andre Fletcher. Earlier, the pitched looked pregnant with runs as the ball was supposed to come on to the bat. However, looks can be deceiving and that is exactly what transpired, as the pitch ended up playing two-paced. At one point Tamim Iqbal was nearly beheaded by a Fidel Edwards delivery and the next Misbah-ul-Haq nearly had his ankle knocked out by a Samuel Badree delivery that rocketed into the stumps. However, when you fail to score from 60 of your possible 120 deliveries you end up with an inadequate total, which was the case.
The free-flowing Fletcher was caged in by the Red Steel and although he batted throughout the innings, all he saw to his name at the end was 46 not out. In the 59 deliveries sent his way, only two went rolling into the ropes and one over it. This innings was in stark contrast to the blistering 77 he got against the Hawksbills a few nights ago in Antigua. The only cheer that came from the big crowd was the victory of Usain Bolt in the 200 metres at the Worlds athletics meet in Moscow, as the cricket was interrupted in the 13th over to beam the race to the fans on the big screen. The Red Steel bowlers were awesome under the hot Kingston sun and the team looked a well-oiled and united group. The bowlers were all on song and the fielders backed them up for the most part, all a recipe for an excellent day in the field.
Red Steel vs Zouks
T Iqbal b Edwards 5
A Fletcher not out 46
D Smith c Jayawardene b Badree 0
M ul Haq b Badree 3
H Gibbs c & b Cooper 10
D Sammy b Bravo 16
A Morkel not out 7
Extras lb2, w10 12
Total for 5 wkts 99
Fall of wkts: 15, 17, 36, 56, 84,
Bowling: F Edwards 4-0-22-1, D Bravo 4-0-28-1, S Badree 4-0-18-2, S Benn 4-0-11-0, K Cooper 4-0-18-1
Red Steel inns
K O’Brien b Best 37
A Barath c Smith b Shillingford 17
R Taylor b Mathurin 13
M Jayawardene c wkr Sammy b Mathurin 11
DM Bravo not out 15
DJ Bravo not out 10
Extras w2 2
Total 4 wkts (17.5) 105
Fall of wkts: 56, 56, 75, 84,
Bowling: G Mathurin 4-0-24-2, D Sammy 3-0-22-0,
T Best 4-0-18-1, S Shillingford 4-0-20-1, L Sebastien 1.5-0-17-0
Result: Red Steel won by 6 wkts.
Red Steel: 2pts
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