Soca Warriors duo, England-based T&T captain Kenwyne Jones and speedy winger Rundell Winchester both sealed loan moves on Thursday in announcements made on two different continents.
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Hawksbills no match for Red Steel
Foreign imports Kevin O'Brien and Ross Taylor came to the party for Red Steel yesterday, as they whipped the home boys Antigua Hawksbills by nine wickets, in their third match of the 2014 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 tournament at the Sir Viv Richards ground in North Sound.
After the Super Over loss to Guyana Amazon Warriors on Thursday night, skipper Dwayne Bravo and some of his men sat in the corridor off the Princess Hotel into the wee hours of the morning, looking at the right combination, to get back into winning ways.
One of the moves discussed was to get the big Irish Kevin O'Brien into the opening slot to maximize the power play. Well he did that brilliantly, as he scorched an unbeaten 90 and together with New Zealand’s Ross Taylor 51 not out, ensured that last night Bravo had an early night.
Chasing a testing 152 runs, after Kevon Cooper’s three wickets restricted the Hawksbills to 151 for eight, the Red Steel got home easily, so much so that the only interest at the end of the game was whether O’Brien could have joined Chris Gayle as the second century maker of the tournament.
The hard hitting Jamaican Kenar Lewis playing his first game, left the park for two with the score at seven. The home fans, not having experienced a win in this tournament, were hopeful that their Sunday would not have gone to waste.
However, O’Brien bludgeoned the ball all around the park and took the game away from Viv Richards’ men. He sent seven balls flying into the stands and rolled five over the ropes as his 90 not out came off just 49 balls. Taylor, as he has done so far during the tournament, kept a cool head and used his experience to guide the ship. He batted in a similar manner as he did when he got a half century in the opening win over Tridents and when the win came he was 51 not out off 46 balls with three fours and a six.
The win, the second in three games for Red Steel sets the tournament up nicely as they head to Port of Spain for their next three matches with four points in the bag.
Earlier, Bravo called correctly at the toss and with the pitch giving assistance to the batsmen, asked the Hawksbills to set a target. They got off to a flier as Australian Ben Dunk slammed 26 off 17 balls with three fours and a six. He rattled leg-spinner Samuel Badree and pacer Fidel Edwards. The Barbadian Edwards struck by getting rid of Danza Hyatt but by then the score was 30 in the fourth over.
The stage was set for skipper Marlon Samuels who was brilliant in getting 84 in the previous game. However, Cooper was super on the day and sent him back for 13. Dunk was then run out for 26 and with three wickets down for 48 runs, Red Steel was in the game.
The fourth wicket stand of 66 runs between Devon Thomas and David Hussey frustrated the Red Steel but left arm spinner Sulieman Benn, got the wicket of Thomas for a run-a-ball 38 to arrest the progression.
Hussey then fell to Cooper for 30 and from that point the target was always going to be manageable.
Hawksbills vs Red Steel
B Dunk run out 26
D Hyatt c Pooran b Edwards 8
M Samuels c DM Bravo b Cooper 13
D Thomas c Pooran b Cooper 38
D Hussey c O'Brien b Benn 30
S Cottrell c & b DJ Bravo 16
C Brathwaite c Edwards b DJ Bravo 3
R Cornwall c Badree b Cooper 11
J Athanaze not out 1
B Hogg not out 2
Extras lb3 3
Total 8 wkts (20) ovs 151
Fall of wkts: 30, 46, 48, 114, 119, 130, 140, 148.
Bowling: S Badree 4-0-21-0, F Edwards 2-0-16-1, S Benn 4-0-38-1, K Cooper 4-0-34-3, DJ Bravo 4-0-29-2, J Mohammed 2-0-10-0.
Red Steel inns
K Lewis c Laughlin b Cornwall 2
K O'Brien not out 90
R Taylor not out 51
Extras b1, lb5, w3 9
Total 1 wkt (17.1ovs) 152
Fall of wkts: 7.
Bowling: S Cottrell 4-0-18-0, R Cornwall 3-0-38-1, C Brathwaite 4-0-31-0, B Laughlin 3-0-26-0, B Hogg 2-1-0-23-0, M Samuels 1-0-10-0.
Result: Red Steel won by 9 wkts.
Man-of-match: Kevin O'Brien.