At one point, Norman Christie, bpTT’s Regional President, couldn’t get more than a sentence out about “our band” before the audience exploded into lusty applause and catcalls of appreciation.
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Red Steel straighten out Tridents
There are four T&T players on the Barbados Tridents team, including their captain Kieron Pollard, and going into their opening Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 clash against Red Steel there was a lot of ‘ole talk’ from both teams. In the end, Pollard, Rayad Emrit, Ravi Rampaul and Akeal Hosein had to eat humble pie, as Red Steel took a comfortable seven-wicket victory to get their campaign on the way at St George’s, Grenada. A fine all-round bowling performance restricted the Tridents to 124 for six off their 20 overs and New Zealand’s Ross Taylor then gave a lesson in sensible batting to take the Red Steel home.
Taylor, who is capable of huge hitting, came in early at the fall of Nasir Jamshed’s wicket and guided the innings along. He and the attractive Darren Bravo looked the part and in the end it was a walk in the park. Taylor played authentic cricket shots, realising that the run rate was not too steep and Bravo was with him run for run. The two weathered the early storm to add 50 runs off 49 balls and then eased into the target thereafter. The New Zealander brought up his half century off 41 balls with six fours and with the foundation set, Bravo decided to thrill the crowd, who left their Saturday market to come to view the cricket. He had some lusty hits that was greeted with great cheer as it was clear that the fans here were supporting the Red Steel.
Taylor fell just before the end, leg before to Rampaul but by then his “Trini” mates were already laughing. Taylor made 62 off 51 balls with five fours and a six. His association with Bravo was worth 95 runs in 12.3 overs. When the victory came, Bravo was unbeaten on 54 off 42 balls with three fours and three sixes. The victory avenged the four-wicket loss the Red Steel suffered at the hands of the Tridents in the inaugural tournament last year. Earlier, captain Dwayne Bravo won the toss and decided to have first use of the pitch, as he wanted his quick bowler Fidel Edwards to enjoy the early moisture. Edwards—as he showed in Bravo’s music video—danced all over the openers in two overs that troubled the Tridents and cost only six runs.
Shane Dowrich and Dwayne Smith decided to attack from the other end and Samuel Badree felt their wrath. Bravo to his credit did not allow the batsmen to settle against any bowler and frequently made changes. Badree did, however, come back for the last over of the power-play and got the wicket of Smith. With the score on 40, he had the Chennai Super Kings hard-hitter caught on the long-on boundary for 13. At the fall of this wicket, the Red Steel failed to push on and looked flat in the midday sun. Sulieman Benn kept on calling on wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran to keep the players on their feet and it worked. Bravo took the ball and sent down two tidy overs from the Media Centre End and his men started to respond.
At the end of the tenth over, the score was 67 for one and this necessitated big hitting. With this always comes wickets and the Irishman Kevin O’Brien obliged, sending back Pakistani Shoaib Malik for a 23-ball 21 and South African Neil McKenzie for seven. All the while Dowrich was gathering his runs quietly at the other end. As the pressure built, he too threw caution to the wind and was dismissed by Kevon Cooper for 37. He faced 38 balls and struck five fours. At 84 for four with five overs to go, skipper Pollard was the right man for the occasion. He took five balls to get off the mark and just as he started to find his range, so too did Bravo, having him caught and bowled for seven. The right-arm medium-pacer then helped Jonathan Carter on his way to the dug out and it took a nine-ball 17 from Jason Holder to give the Tridents their eventual score off 124 for six in 20 overs. Bravo finished with two for 17 and O’Brien fetched two for six. The Red Steel’s next assignment is in Guyana where they play the Guyana Amazon Warriors on Thursday.
Red Steel vs Tridents
D Smith c Bravo b Badree 13
S Dowrich b Cooper 37
S Malik c Taylor b O’Brien 21
N McKenzie c DJ Bravo b O’Brien 7
K Pollard c&b DJ Bravo 7
J Carter c Edwards b DJ Bravo 5
J Holder not out 17
A Nurse not out 6
Extras lb8, w3 11
Total 6 wkts (20ovs) 124
Fall of wkts: 40, 74, 83, 84, 97, 99.
Bowling: F Edwards 3-0-12-0, S Badree 4-0-24-1 (1w), K Cooper 4-0-30-1, S Benn 4-0-27-0, D Bravo 3-0-17-2, K O’Brien 2-0-6-2.
Red Steel inns
N Jamshed c Nurse b Malik 0
E Lewis c McKenzie b Rampaul 4
R Taylor lbw Rampaul 62
D Bravo not out 54
N Pooran not out 1
Extras lb1, w3 4
Total 3 wkts (17.3ovs) 125
Fall of wkts: 0, 20, 115.
Bowling: S Malik 2-0-16-1, R Rampaul 3-0-18-2, J Holder 4-0-17-0, R Emrit 2-0-18-0, A Nurse 2-0-12-0, A Hosein 3-0-26-0, K Pollard 1-0-9-0, D Smith .3-0-8-0.
Result: Red Steel won by seven wickets.