Lanky, left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn laid the foundation and Kraigg Brathwaite batted through to lead Barbados Pride to an overwhelming seven-wicket victory against the Windward Islands Volcanoes in last night’s close to the semi-finals of the West Indies Cricket Board’s regional 50-overs tournament.
Match-winners Barbados Pride qualify to face Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, the defending champs whom the Barbados Pride defeated on Sunday last to close out the preliminary round, round-robin four-team group action. The Red Force had won Wednesday’s first semifinal, knocking out the Guyana Jaguars.
So it’s back to the Oval tomorrow for the scheduled 1.30 pm start to the final
Barbados Pride last night bundled out Volcanoes for a below par 175 off 45.4 overs with Man-of-the-Match left-arm spinner Benn grabbing four for 26 from his ten overs.
Left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican (2 for 30), seamer Carlos Brathwaite (2- for 41) and off-spinner Ashley Nurse (2 for 42) all weighed in with two wickets each.
Opener Devon Smith top-scored with 44 while both Sunil Ambris and Tyrone Theophile got 31 but Volcanoes lost wickets in clusters as the innings faltered in the middle stages.
Pride then cruised to their target with 33 balls remaining, with opener Brathwaite stroking an unbeaten 80 and middle order batsman Shamarh Brooks, 33 not out.
They endured a shock start when Dwayne Smith was lbw to seamer Mervin Matthew to the first ball of the innings but Kraigg Brathwaite anchored two pivotal partnerships, adding 45 for the second wicket with Shai Hope who scored 28 and a further 96 with Brooks in an unbroken fourth wicket stand.
In Saturday’s final at the same venue, Pride will now face Red Force who beat Guyana Jaguars by 54 runs in Wednesday’s first semi.
That berth in the final seemed uncertain when Matthew knocked over Smith to leave Pride struggling on 14 for one at the break.
On resumption, however, Brathwaite and Hope rebuilt the innings, to reclaim the advantage. Brathwaite faced 120 balls and counted nine fours while Hope struck five fours in a 48-ball knock.
The partnership was growing in stature when Hope nicked fellow seamer Kyle Mayers behind in the 14th over.
Left-hander Jonathan Carter, who struck 28 off 38 deliveries with two fours, joined Brathwaite to post 38 for the third wicket.
Captain Liam Sebastien got the breakthrough in his third over, the 22nd of the innings when he induced Carter into a tame return catch leaving Pride on 83 for three.
Any thoughts of an upset win were then squashed as Brooks and Brathwaite dominated the Volcanoes bowling to take Pride over the line.
The right-handed Brooks faced 60 balls and counted two fours but it was Brathwaite who appropriately struck the winning runs when he whipped a full toss from leg-spinner Kerron Cottoy to the mid-wicket boundary.
Earlier, Volcanoes wasted a 74-run, second wicket stand between Smith and Theophile, which pulled the innings around after it slipped to two for one after just eight balls, when Johnson Charles tugged Nurse to Warrican at wide mid-on to depart without scoring.
The left-handed Smith struck five fours and a six off 58 balls and Theophile counted four fours in a 60-ball knock, as they revived the innings in an entertaining stand.
Smith lost concentration and fell to the first ball after the first drinks break when he edged behind off Benn, triggering a slide which saw Volcanoes lose four wickets for 19 runs and slump to 95 for five in the 26th over.
Benn had Theophile caught by Nurse at slip edging a cut, gained an lbw decision against Andre Fletcher (0) though replays showed an inside edge and had captain Liam Sebastien caught at the wicket also cutting for one.
VOLCANOES 175 all out off 45.4 overs (Devon Smith 44, Sunil Ambris 31, Tyrone Theophile 31, Kyle Mayers 26; Sulieman Benn 4-26, Jomel Warrican 2-30, Carlos Brathwaite 2-41, Ashley Nurse 2-42)
PRIDE 179 for three off 44.3 overs (Kraigg Brathwaite 80 not out, Shamarh Brooks 33 not out, Jonathan Carter 28, Shai Hope 28