Trinidad and Tobago’s Under-17 boys cricket team and the franchised Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel tumbled to agonising defeats on home soil within hours of each other last evening – the under-17s losing their weather-affected final-round match in Tobago against Guyana, and as a result, losing the regional title to the Windward islands — the Red Steel losing to the St Lucia Zouks at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port-of-Spain by four wickets with no balls remaining in a Caribbean Premier League T20 fixture they wanted to win, to begin the move off the bottom of the six-team standings.
The Red Steel had their partisan home crowd in a patient wait for the rain-delayed start to their floodlit Oval homecoming CPL T20 game and they belted their way to 90 for the loss of four wickets in their mandated nine-over innings with Jacques 38 off 19 balls and the Bravo brothers, delighting the fans — Darren with two fours and a six in his nine-ball 19, Dwayne with one four in an 8-ball 14.
Delight too when the Red Steel plucked each Zouk wicket – six in all – but the Oval fell silent when with 17 needed off the ninth and last over bowled by captain Dwayne Bravo, Nathan McCullum managed to hit Bravo for two fours and a couple before being caught out off the fourth ball.
Seven needed from two balls and stonier the silence when Ross Taylor swung the fifth ball of the over over midwicket for six , then with the Red Steel fielders closing in to try to stop the last-ball single, Taylor made the contact and he and Vincentian partner Keron Cottoy sprinted the single for the win.
Red Steel look for the winning turnaround against the Barbados Tridents from 8’o clock at the Oval tomorrow night and against the St Kitts-Nevis patriots from noon on Saturday and against the Jamaica Tallawahs from 4 pm on Sunday. The Steel then head off to Guyana to complete their round there against the Amazon Warriors.
Opener and man-of-the-match Johnson Charles had led the chase of 91 in nine overs with 41 off 23, including three fours and three sixes, after the early exits of Andre Fletcher and captain Kevin Pietersen. However, with 24 required off 12, he was bowled by Jacques Kallis first ball of the penultimate over. Kallis sent back Kyle Mayers as well to finish with 3 for 15 in two overs. Bravo had two for 27 from his two overs.
The TT Under-17s went into yesterday’s fifth and last round of their fourth-edition age-group limited overs tournament in Tobago second to Jamaica who had 19.4 points to TT’s 19.1. Windward Islands meanwhile were in third with 18.4, Guyana fourth on 12, Barbados , the defending champions on seven and Leeward Islands winless.
Barbados was first to win yesterday, comprehensively beating Jamaica by ten wickets at Shaw Park to collect the six points for the match success.
At Canaan meanwhile the Windwards were in the drivers’ seat after scoring 264 for nine in their 50 overs then bowling out their fellow islanders for 57 in 24 overs and one ball.
And at Mount Pleasant Trinidad and Tobago were seeking 163 runs for victory against the Guyanese who were earlier bowled out for 166. There was a delayed start to the T&T chase due to the rain and when play started they needed 163 off 47 overs. TT closed on 133 for 7 in 42.1 overs as bad light was called and TT lost by seven runs on the duckworth-lewis system,
TT openers Keagan Simmons and Cephas Cooper put on 53 for the first wicket. T&T captain Kirstan Kallicharran who took five wickets for 18 runs earlier completed off a solid all-round performance with 25 and Siba Batoosingh led the way with 29 to get them moving in the right direction again.
But off-spinner Bhaskar Yadram grabbed 3 for 23 from 7.1 overs to stem the flow of runs and the keep chase tight before the fading light ushered the players off.
The Windwards finished top of the standings with 24.9 points and claimed the title for the first time.
Jamaica, the pre-series leaders, finished with the same 19.4 points as T&T but TT were second-placed on superior net run rate.
Guyana were fourth with 18.2, Barbados were fifth on 13.4 and Leewards ended last on 1.2.