Yvonne Webb and Alana Boodoo-Suraj
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Bravo for Red Steel
Ronsford Beaton shuffled at the top of his run and steamed in from the Pavilion End. Fast forward a few seconds and Darren Bravo poses for the camera, as he just struck the last ball of the match for six to give his team, T&T Red Steel, a four-wicket victory in their Limacol Caribbean Premier League T20 clash at the Queen’s Park Oval on Thursday night against the Guyana Amazon Warriors. In front of a capacity crowd at the Oval, the match went down to the last over with Red Steel needing nine runs to win. Beaton held his nerve nicely as he took it down to the last ball and with six runs needed the Amazon Warriors were favourites.
With the crowd chanting Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!, Beaton bowled a length ball on off-stump and Bravo nailed it over deep mid-wicket and as it headed for the Caribbean Sea, his red-clad teammates were rushing in to hoist their hero high. Chasing 180 runs for victory off 20 overs, after Warriors captain Denesh Ramdin played a superb hand of 84, the Red Steel looked totally out of it at 13 for three when Dwayne Bravo joined his half brother Darren in the middle. With the run rate around three runs per over and the required rate heading to 11, they hardly had time to settle and started to attack with great success. Pretty soon the fans were believing again and the party finally got started. Dwayne was more aggressive and had the Warriors chasing leather much to the delight of the crowd.
The right/left combination posted a critical 131 runs off just 12.5 overs to change the complexion of the game. Dwayne was the first to go, scoring 67 off 42 balls with six fours and three sixes. Nicolas Pooran joined Darren and played a nine-ball cameo of 16 which further advanced the cause. However, the night belonged to Darren who smashed his second half century of the tournament, finishing on 69 not out off 49 balls with five fours and five sixes—which won him the player of the match award. Earlier, the opening bowlers Samuel Badree and Fidel Edwards started off the attack bowling with great discipline. Badree sent back the dangerous Martin Guptill and this pushed the Warriors back very early. Edwards was rushing in from the Northern End and even tested the quality of Mohammad Hafeeez’s helmet.
The two bowled well in tandem and the first boundary came after 25 deliveries. Simmons played an imperious cover drive for four and this opened the floodgates as three more boundaries would come in the same over—which tallied 16 in all. Badree would then return in the next over to bring back order. He sent back Hafeez, who failed to deal with a full toss and Kevin O’Brien held a fine running catch, diving forward and in the same over Simmons turned back to see the blinkers—as he was stumped for 24. He faced 21 balls and struck five fours in an innings that promised much more. Warriors skipper Ramdin then came in and took total control of the situation. The West Indies Test captain was in great touch and took the pressure of Neesham who was struggling on the sluggish pitch.
The pint-sized Ramdin played some very attractive shots that won the approval of the fans in red, who has turned out to support Bravo’s men. The La Romaine man was in top gear and brought up his half century off 33 balls with three fours and three sixes. Soon after he passed his T20 best of 55 not out, as he motored on in front of a hapless Red Steel attack. With great knowledge of the conditions at the Oval, Ramdin played an unbelievable hand and plastered the bowling to all parts of the ground. He and Neesham took the score to 149 when he finally ran out of steam and fell to a short one from Edwards. his 84 came off only 45 balls and included half a dozen fours and half a dozen sixes. The partnership with Neesham was worth 122 runs off just 12 overs.
Chris Barnwell then entered and the story was the same, he smacked 23 off eight balls with two sixes and a four and together with Neesham was able to take 21 runs from the last over bowled by Bravo. Neesham finished 33 not out off 32 balls with one four and a six. With the win, Red Steel now moves on to six points and will play Jamaica Tallawahs at noon today at the Oval.
Red Steel vs Amazon Warriors
L Simmons st Pooran b Badrees 24
M Guptill c DJ Bravo b Badree 1
M Hafeez c O’Brien b Badree 1
D Ramdin c Badree b Edwards 84
J Neesham not out 32
C Barnwell run out 23
V Permaul not out 13
Extras (lb5, w8) 13
Total: 5 wkts (20ovs) 179
Fall of wkts: 3, 23, 27, 149, 175.
Bowling: F Edwards 4-0-38-1 (1w), S Badree 4-0-13-3 (1w), S Benn 3-0-23-0, D Bravo 4-0-54-0 (1w), K Cooper 4-0-32-0 (1w), K O’Brien 1-0-14-0.
Red Steel inns
K Lewis c Barnwell b Hafeez 3
K O’Brien b Santokie 4
R Taylor lbw Permaul 0
DM Bravo not out 69
DJ Bravo c Barnwell b Neesham 67
N Pooran c Simmons b Santokie 16
K Cooper c Barnwell b Santokie 2
J Mohammed not out 1
Extras lb3, w15 18
Total: 6 wkts (20ovs) 180
Fall of wkts: 5, 6, 13, 144, 167, 171.
Bowling: K Santokie 4-0-36-3 (2w), V Permaul 3-0-17-1 (1w), M Hafeez 4-1-23-1, S Jacobs 2-0-28-0 (1w), R Beaton 4-0-39-0 (3w), J Neesham 3-0-34-1.
Result: T&T Red Steel won by 4 wkts.
Man of the match: Darren Bravo.
POS TEAM MAT WON LOST TIED N/R PTS NET RR
1 Jamaica Tallawahs 3 3 0 0 0 6 +0.924
2 T&T Red Steel 4 3 1 0 0 6 +0.551
3 Guyana Amazon Warriors 5 3 2 0 0 6 +0.329
4 Barbados Tridents 3 2 1 0 0 4 +0.245
5 Antigua Hawksbills 4 0 4 0 0 0 -1.034
6 St Lucia Zouks 3 0 3 0 0 0 -1.223
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