Despite all the gun talk by skipper Chris Gayle, T&T warmed-up for the Nokia Champions League with a 12-run victory over the WIPA All Stars in the ‘Balls of Fire 2’ charity T20 clash at the Queen’s Park Oval yesterday.
The event was already a success even before the players went out to play, as a huge crowd braved the limited state of emergency and last minute back to school shopping to be on hand at the Oval.
T&T batting first made 150 for six off their 20 overs and WIPA All Stars were restricted to 138 for six in reply.
At one point, the WIPA boys looked to be cruising to victory but the local team held its game together and Daren Ganga’s trusted spinners Dave Mohammed and Samuel Badree grabbed two wickets apiece to ensure the win.
The WIPA All Stars were well on their way despite the early loss of Gayle (9) and Dwayne Bravo (0). Devon Smith and Dwayne Smith thrilled the crowd with awesome hitting and took their team to 86 for two after 10 overs. However Dwayne Smith fell for 33 off 22 balls with four sixes and the match changed course.
Devon Smith batted well and WIPA still had a chance while he was there but his innings ended at 60 and so did the hopes of Dinanath Ramnarine’s boys. Smith’s polished 60 came from 49 balls and included five fours and two sixes.
Earlier, T&T won the toss and decided to take first strike and after just two overs 30 runs were already on the board, courtesy a hurricane called Adrian Barath. He slapped his way to a rapid 19 from just 10 balls with two sixes that thrilled to good-sized crowd on hand.
However he fell to Suliemann Benn in the fourth over after looking poised for something special. Fellow opener Lendl Simmons also looked good but was needlessly run out for a 28-ball 25 that included two fours. After 10 overs the score was 70 for two and just when T&T tried to push on they lost quick wickets. Soon the score was 90 for five and it took a 52-run partnership between Denesh Ramdin and Sherwin Ganga to take the score to it’s eventual position.
Ramdin looked sharp and collected an unbeaten 36 from 21 balls with three fours and a six, while Sherwin Ganga counted 18 off 21 balls.
T&T 150/6 (20)(Denesh Ramdin 36no, Lendl Simmons 25, Adrian Barath 19, Sherwin Ganga 18, Wilden Cornwall 1/8, Suliemann Benn 1/11, Dwayne Smith 1/15, Keiron Pollard 1/19) vs WIPA XI 138/6 (20)(Devon Smith 60, Dwayne Smith 33, Samuel Badree 2/22, Dave Mohammed 2/23) – T&T won by 12 runs.