A workman-like half century from Kieron Pollard helped to guide Trinidad and Tobago to a four-wicket victory over Guyana in their final preliminary round match of the Regional KFC limited overs competition at the National Stadium, Providence yesterday.
Pollard made an unbeaten 52 from 62 balls hitting three fours and one gigantic six that broke one of the glass window of the Media Centre at the northern end of the ground as Trinidad ended on 209-6 from 46 overs in reply to Guyana’s 208-8 from their 50 overs.
Earlier, Guyana, who were without West Indies captain Ramnaresh Sarwan who had encountered a freak accident during the team’s warm up game of ‘touch rugby’ was asked to take first strike in overcast conditions.
The Guyanese were immediately on the back foot as Rayad Emrit ripped through the top order to have the home team precariously-placed on 57-4 in the 22nd over of their innings.
Of the four batsmen to fall, only Sewnarine Chattergoon got into double figures with 27 from 42 balls which was decorated with four fours and one six.
It took a 43-run partnership from 60 balls between Leon Johnson (53) who was playing his first limited overs game for Guyana and wicket-keeper Darwin Christian (11) to give the home team’s total some boosting after Narsingh Deonarine, leading the team in Sarwan’s absence was brilliantly taken by Merv Dillon who took a tumbling overhead catch in the wide long-on area after running around from straight long on off the bowling of Pollard.
Deonarine had made 15 from 42 balls and struck one four.
Johnson, who got off the mark by hitting Emrit over mid on for four mixed caution with aggression as he sought about getting his team to a winning target. Following the dismissal of Christian, who was run out after ending up at the same end with Johnson, Neil Mc Garrell then strode to the wicket and began working the ball around for singles to the delight of the crowd which was building gradually as the game progressed.
Together they posted 46 for the seventh wicket with Johnson reaching his 50 in the process before Johnson perished to a trap set by the opposition. He was previously dropped at the deep fine leg position by Lendl Simmons, but the fielder made amends later on by latching on to the next offer given by Johnson off Dwayne Bravo. He faced 72 balls for his 53 and struck four fours and two sixes in the process.
Some lusty hitting by Mc Garrell (51 not out) and Esaun Crandon (12 with 3×4) help took their team past the 200 mark, a total that proved to be too short in the end. Mc Garrell brought up his 50 off the last delivery of Guyana’s innings, hitting Dillon over a wide mid-wicket for four.
Emrit ended with 4-43 from his ten overs whilst Pollard (1-17); Bravo (1-43) and Dillon (1-44) were also among the wicket-takers.
In Trinidad’s reply, openers Simmons and Mario Belcon set after the target with a purposeful approach as they took the Guyanese bowling apart posting 29 from five overs before Simmons lost his wicket to Reon King courtesy of a brilliant catch by Chattergoon at short cover as the batsman drove at a loose delivery but failed to keep the ball down.
Belcon was dropped by Mc Garrell at first slip after the fielder spilled the ball when attempting to throw it up to celebrate the catch when on 27 with Trinidad 43-1 in the ninth over.
He and skipper Darren Ganga posted 46 for the second wicket before Belcon went lbw to Mc Garrell for 47. He faced 44 balls and struck seven fours in the process.
Ganga (37) and Bravo (22) added a further 46 for the third wicket from 69 balls with some patient batting and purposeful running between the wickets before Bravo attempted to sweep Deonarine but picked out King at short backward square. He faced 37 balls and struck four fours.
Trinidad at this stage were coasting at 121-3 from 25.2 overs, but lost wickets regularly including the wicket of Ganga who was run out by Zaheer Mohammed who deflected a straight drive from Pollard onto the stumps to find Ganga short.
He hit one six and one four during his stay at the wicket. But Pollard held his nerve and, although suffering from a slight hamstring injury, and using Bravo as a runner, calmly saw his team home to 209-6 with four overs to spare.
He struck three fours the final one sealing the game for his team and bringing up his 50 also. He also hit a six off Royston Crandon. Bowling for Guyana, Crandon (1-24); Mc Garrell (1-31); King (1-35); Deonarine (1-37) and Mohammed (1-42) were the wicket-takers.
Trinidad topped the group with 15 points whilst Guyana who was the first team to qualify for the semi-finals ended as runners-up on 10.
In today’s action, Barbados will oppose Jamaica at the National Stadium whilst the Leeward Islands will oppose the West Indies Under-19 team at Enmore. Action in both games will commence at 09:30 hrs sharp.