AROUBA, Trinidad, CMC – The Trinidad and Tobago Red Force assured themselves of a semifinal spot in the Regional Super50 with a crushing seven-wicket over the Windward Islands Volcanoes at the Brian Lara Stadium here Wednesday.
The result meant that while the Red Force qualified for the knockout round, the defending champions were eliminated from contention.
And the home side did so in emphatic fashion, bundling out the Volcanoes for just 78 runs – the lowest total so far of the competition.
They then needed only 30 minutes to romp to victory, racing to 83 for three off just 9.4 overs.
In a shameful batting display by the Volcanoes, no other batsman apart from opener Gidron Pope who scored 37, made it into double figures.
In fact, the eight extras which the Red Force conceded was the next highest contributor.
Had it not been for Pope’s knock which came from 44 balls, things would have been considerably more embarrassing for the visitors.
By the time Pope was dismissed, the Volcanoes were already in trouble at 58 for four, following the earlier losses of Tyrone Theophile for one, Kirk Edwards for seven and Devon Smith for two, with four different Red Force bowlers accounting for the wickets.
Spinners Imran Khan and Khary Pierre then teamed up to snag five of the six remaining wickets, for the addition of just 20 runs.
Without another run being added, Kavem Hodge was dismissed by Rayad Emrit and Khan sent Roland Cato back to the pavilion.
Pierre was responsible for the wickets of captain Shane Shillingford and Alick Athanaze, who was clean bowled to be the last man out.
Man-of-the-match Khan ended with three wickets for 13 runs from four overs, while Pierre and Emrit both took two wickets.
In their chase, the Red Force suffered a brief slump before an unbeaten half-century from the in-form Lendl Simmons carried them to a hasty victory.
The promoted Kieron Pollard, who opened the innings, was dismissed without scoring, along with Jason Mohammed (3) and Darren Bravo who also made a duck, to leave the Red Force precariously placed on 23 for three, with Hodge snaring all three wickets.
But Simmons and Nicholas Pooran who made 25 not out, carried them to victory without any further alarms.