T&T stumble badly before eking out victory

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad,  CMC – Trinidad and Tobago beat Windward Islands by four wickets in their fourth round Regional Four-Day match here yesterday but not before suffering a massive scare, after their batting collapsed spectacularly.

Shane Shillingford

Chasing a paltry 98 for victory after needing 31 balls to bowl the visitors out for 258, T&T made a strong start with a stand of 79 between openers Justin Guillen and Imran Khan that appeared to put them on course for an uncomplicated victory.

Guillen smashed four fours and two sixes off 46 balls while Khan scored 29 from 36 balls with three fours.

There was no sign of what was to unfold when Guillen clipped off-spinner Liam Sebastien to Garey Mathurin at cover but the hosts then shockingly lost their next six wickets for five runs, to plunge to a precarious 84 for six.

The panic was engineered by Sebastien who claimed three for 25 and Test off-spinner Shane Shillingford who finished with three for 30.

With a possible defeat on the cards, captain Denesh Ramdin strode to the wicket to guide his side home with an unbeaten 12 and ease the widespread tension at Queen’s Park Oval.

The slide began when Khan followed his opening partner with just two runs added, driving Shillingford to Mathurin at mid off.

Liam Sebastien

Elegant left-handed Darren Bravo edged Sebastien to Darren Sammy at slip without scoring and T&T were in further strife when Jason Mohammed missed a pull at Sebastien and was bowled. With the score still on 84, Daren Ganga completed an inauspicious return to first class cricket when he popped Shillingford to Andre Fletcher at short leg to fall for five.

When Reyad Emrit was trapped lbw to Shillingford without a run added, the Windwards were scenting a dramatic victory but Ramdin quickly quelled any such notion, by finishing not out for the second time in the game.

Earlier, the Windwards got an unbeaten 40 from tail-ender Delorn Johnson and 32 from Mathurin, to stretch their overnight 232 for nine to their eventual total.

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