From Clifton Ross
Man-of-the-match and Trinidad skipper Dwayne Bravo treated the “Trini Posse” with an appetizer ahead of the Saturday’s final as their team crucified Jamaica by seven wickets at the Queen’s Park Oval Ground in the first semi-final of the NAGICO Regional Super50 tournament.
Bravo, who snared an impressive 3 for 10 from 6 overs was supported heavily by medium-pacer Rayad Emrit who ended with devastating figures of 4 for 19 and Ravi Rampaul who claimed 2 for 6, displaying a potent, discipline exhibition of seam bowling which rocketed their team into Saturday’s final encounter.
Spinner Sunil Narine was economical and effective picking up one wicket for 13 runs from seven overs. Andre McCarthy (16) and fast-bowler Jerome Taylor, who was left unbeaten on 13 were the only two players to reach double figures as the once undefeated Jamaica haplessly imploded and were bowled out for 49 in 24.2 overs, the lowest total in Regional 50 over cricket.
Chasing a seemingly easy ‘walk in the park” total, the home team practically cruised to their middling target of 50, ending with 51 for 3 from 13.1overs. Darren Bravo struck four eye-catching boundaries in his top score of 23 not out he received support from Lendl Simmons who scored 21.
Former West Indies fast bowler Jerome Taylor ended with excellent figures of 3 for 11 from six overs and was the only Jamaican bowler to make inroads.
After winning the toss and being sent in to take first strike, Jamaica got off to a horrendous start losing their first 5 wickets for a mere 14 runs inside 11 overs. Bravo and Rampaul tore through the top order in the early stages, while Emrit operated as the finisher in the latter part of the Jamaican innings.
Opener John Ross Campbell (0) was the first to go after being caught by wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin off the bowling of Bravo, while centurion from the last match Nkrumah Bonner (1) was removed by Rampaul.
Kennar Lewis (2) and Tamar Lambert (0) were also trapped lbw by Bravo leaving the Jamaicans teetering at 4 for 5. Wicket-keeper Carlton Baugh Jr (4) edged a Rampaul delivery to first slip and was expertly caught by Darren Bravo who completed a good low catch.
A few overs later the younger of the two Bravo brothers was again involved in another piece of good catching when Jamaica Captain Dave Bernard Jr., who struggled in his innings managing one run off 20 deliveries, popped a delivery from Rayad Emrit in the air.
Emrit then dealt two huge blows by removing the big-hitting Andre Russell for 4, followed by top-scorer McCarthy who was caught by Evin Lewis. Nikita Miller (3) was then pinned lbw by Narine and Andrew Richardson (0) became Emrit’s fourth victim, Taylor was left stranded as the innings came to an early end.
Despite losing openers Simmons and Evin Lewis (0) along with Imran Khan (1) who was used as a pinch-hitter at number 3 to Taylor, the brothers Bravo finished the game in brotherly style by carving boundaries around the Queen’s Park Ground winning with 221 balls remaining.
The skipper Dwayne (5 not out) sealed his team’s spot in the final with a whipped drive for four down the ground and ran and hugged his brother Darren in celebration of a comprehensive thumping.
The final encounter set for Saturday will be decided today when tournament favorites Guyana square up against Barbados in the last semi-final match of the competition.