CAVE HILL, Barbados, CMC – A Sunil Narine hat-trick and a typically exhilarating Evin Lewis hundred were all Trinidad and Tobago Red Force needed to brush aside the luckless Windward Islands Volcanoes by four wickets and post their third straight win of the Regional Super50.
Chasing an unintimidating 223 for victory at 3Ws Oval here Monday, Red Force reached their target in 40th over, with the opener Lewis stroking exactly 100 and fellow left-hander Amir Jangoo scoring 41.
West Indies one-day vice-captain, Jason Mohammed, saw Red Force over the line with an unbeaten 29, after they lost unnecessary wickets with victory already in sight.
Red Force, who were crushed by title-holders Barbados Pride in their opening match almost a week ago, have now gone unbeaten since that debacle at Kensington Oval.
Sent in, Volcanoes produced their best batting effort of the tournament – 222 all out off 48.3 overs – but it was not enough to prevent them suffering their third defeat in the trot.
Their talisman Devon Smith broke out his rut to top-score with 68 while former Test batsman Kirk Edwards got 32, Andre Fletcher, 31, and opener Johnson Charles, 29
Once again, it was the exemplary Narine who starred for Red Force, finishing with four for 25 from his 10 overs. With Volcanoes looking for a strong finish, Narine dented their hopes by picking up a hat-trick in the 46th over when he knocked over Kavem Hodge (9), Delorn Johnson (0) and Kesrick Williams (0) in successive deliveries.
Hodge was taken at the wicket by Denesh Ramdin, Johnson was stumped off the next ball while Williams was trapped lbw, to have the dubious honour of being the hat-trick victim. Smith had earlier anchored three successive half-century stands to put Volcanoes in a strong position at 166 for two in the 37th over.
The left-hander, short of runs in the tournament, faced 113 balls and struck just three fours as he first put on 65 for the first wicket with Charles before adding a further 51 with Fletcher for the second wicket.
Charles faced 44 balls and counted four fours before perishing in the 17th over and Fletcher belted two fours and sixes off 41 deliveries before departing in the 28th over.
Edwards then produced a fluent knock, carving out three fours and a six in a 25-ball cameo, as he added an up tempo 49-ball 50 for the third wicket with Smith.
However, once he and Smith fell in successive overs, Volcanoes collapsed badly, losing their last eight wickets for 56 runs.
Leg-spinner Imran Khan (2-25) and fast bowler Roshon Primus (2-59) finished with two wickets apiece.
In reply, Lewis quickly took the game away from Volcanoes with his third consecutive score over fifty, smashing 10 fours and three sixes off 90 balls.
More significantly, he propelled a 79-run first wicket partnership off 67 balls with Tion Webster (24) before putting on 85 for the second wicket with Jangoo, who faced 71 balls in a patient innings and struck just two fours.
Lewis reached his half-century off 43 deliveries and brought up his hundred off 88 balls in the 27th over, with a single into the onside.
Two overs later, he holed out to a brilliant running catch at square leg by Williams off left-arm spinner Larry Edward, who claimed four for 28.
Eleven balls later, Nicholas Pooran (8) needlessly lofted Edward to Edwards at long on at 174 for three leading to a cluster of wickets, but Mohammed saw off the late Volcanoes challenge.