The champs are off and running in fine style. Fast bowling, so often a major weapon for Barbados teams in years gone by, was the catalyst in an impressive victory by 171 runs for the defending regional Super50 champions over Trinidad and Tobago Red Force at Kensington Oval last nigh
After posting a handy 278 for nine in their 50 overs of the day/night contest, Barbados Pride, behind pacer Kemar Roach’s awesome new ball burst that was backed up by Miguel Cummins and Carlos Brathwwaite and supported by smart catching, annihilated the 2015 and 2016 champions for a modest 107.
While hometown fans would have been delighted by the performance of the local boys, that the entertainment was short-lived would have been a disappointment for many who came into the ground for the night session under the lights.
When Barbados Pride batted after they were sent in, the pitch hardly looked to contain any terrors as the hosts mounted a satisfactory total on the back of opener Kevin Stoute’s measured 74 off 107 balls, Roston Chase’s fluent 50 off 47 balls and Shai Hope’s typically classy 47 off 50 balls.
The surface suddenly appeared to change character when Roach and Cummins took the ball to undermine Trinidad and Tobago Red Force’s top order with telling effect in a dramatic collapse.
In the twinkling of an eye, the ball was bouncing appreciably, it moved off the seam and outside edges were clipped with regularity to the extent that it was difficult to keep count of the number of wickets that fell to catches behind the wicket.
When Roach struck in the first over by removing Tion Webster to a catch at mid-off, it was difficult to predict the mayhem that followed.
The first sign perhaps came in Roach’s next over when he induced left-hander Amir Jangroo into edging a catch to second slip, where Ashley Nurse swooped smartly to his right to haul in the first of a handful of fine catches by Barbados Pride.
And it was clear the fans were in for something special when in the sixth over when the hosts claimed one of the big fish, Evin Lewis, another victim to a second slip catch by Nurse as the left-hander edged a defensive prod.
The destruction continued in the next over when Roach dislodged West Indies One-Day International vice-captain Jason Mohammed through the first of three catches by wicketkeeper Shai Hope that left Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in dire straits at 17 for four.
By then, the result was a foregone conclusion and wickets continued to fall at regular intervals, with Cummins and Brathwaite sustaining the pressure created by Roach at the start.
At 50 for eight, Trinidad and Tobago looked certain to be dismissed for their lowest total in a regional 50-over match, but Sunil Narine counter-attacked to ensure that they went past the 84 they made against Jamaica at Chedwin Park in 1997.
The left-handed Narine, whose batting has gained attention as a pinch-hitting opener in the Indian Premier League and Caribbean Premier League over the last year, lashed 51 off 28 balls. It might have prevented a complete rout but it did little to erase any of the embarrassment for Trinidad and Tobago Red Force.
Barbados Pride, fielding ten players with international experience, would also have been satisfied with the work of their batsmen despite the early dismissal of captain Kraigg Brathwaite.
The repair job came in a second-wicket partnership of 97 off 114 balls between Stoute and Hope, who never looked troubled against an attack that posed no real threat in spite of Narine’s presence.
After Hope fell to a catch when he attempted a reverse sweep, Jonathan Carter arrived to immediately find his touch in a knock of 37 off 43 balls. There was brief hiccup with the quick dismissals of Stoute, Carter and Shamarh Brooks, but Chase batted through until the penultimate over to ensure that Barbados Pride reached a challenging total.
It proved to be imposing in the end, as Cummins (4-35), Roach (3-33) and Brathwaite (2-32) shared nine wickets.
Source: Hayden Gill – NationNews