Trinidad and Tobago sport fans, basking in delight at their men’s football team’s pulsating performance and 4-all draw with high-powered Mexico in CONCACAF Gold Cup action in the United States on Wednesday night, had more to celebrate last night with their franchised TT Red Steel team crushing arch-rivals Barbados Tridents by 72 runs in Caribbean Premier League T20 play at the Queen’s Park Oval.
TT’s second close call at winning a first medal at the Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada yesterday, Akidah Briggs unfortunate 36th and last-placing in the shot put at the World Youth Track and Field Championships in Cali, Colombia and rising sprint star Khalifa St Fort’s all-the-way magnificence in earning TT a silver medal at the Championships were second in fans’ focus as the Red Steel atoned for the painful last-over, last-ball loss to the St Lucia Zouks on Tuesday night at the Oval.
In Toronto on Tuesday, fourth day of the 16-day Pan Am Games, 19-year-old Dylan Carter, one of three TT swimming representatives, came closest to a first TT medal, reaching the 100-metres freestyle final but finishing fifth.
Yesterday TT cycling team of Jude Codrington, Justin Roberts and Njisane Phillip finished fifth in the men’s team 3-lap sprint – that placing leaving them to watch the third and fourth placers in ride-off for the bronze while the first and second duelled for the gold.
The medal quest for TT will be ramped up with ace swimmer George Bovell II and the TT athletics team of 17 men and 15 women gearing up for their schedules as the Games go on.
Last night at a Queen’s Park Oval that was a stony silence on Tuesday night as the Red Steel gave away a last-over 17 runs to be beaten by the St Lucia Zouks, there was enough of a high-end party atmosphere as Red Steel, batting first frolicked their way late to an imposing 184 for 3 score in their 20-over innings against the standings leader and defending CPL champions the Barbados Tridents..
Then the tempo of fan support remained high energy as the Tridents, led by TT national Kieron Pollard and including other TT nationals Ravi Rampaul, Rayad Emrit and Akeal Hosein, became a bemused, befuddled lot in being bowled out for 112.
Darren Bravo’s late flourish converted the Red Steel’s middling score into an imposing one, and then his brother Dwayne and the spinners dismissed all the Barbados Tridents batsmen for a win that improved Red Steel’s standing at the bottom of the league. The Red Steel who have two more matches at the weekend at the Oval – versus St Kitts-Nevis Patriots from noion tomorrow and versus the Jamaica Tallawahs from 4 o. clock Sunday,y are now two wins away from catching Tridents at the top, with two games in hand.
Red Steel had started steadily after choosing to bat, and from 50 for 2 in 8.1 overs, Jacques Kallis and Darren Bravo built steadily, adding 75 in 9.1 overs. However, when Kallis lost his off stump to Ravi Rampaul for 49 off 43 deliveries Red Steel, at 125 for 3 with 16 balls left in the innings, needed a special finish.
Man of The Match Darren Bravo was on 36 off 32 balls at the time but he went into overdrive and smashed 44 off his last 12 deliveries, nearly a boundary a ball. He targeted the area between square leg and long-on and finished with seven sixes, adding 59 with his brother Dwayne, who scored 14 off the four balls he faced. Rampaul conceded 16 runs in the 18th over and 25 in the 20th, while Jason Holder went for 22 in the 19th over.
The Tridents chase never took off. Misbah-ul-Haq was their top-scorer with 19 and their highest partnership – between Misbah and Shai Hope for the fourth wicket – was 26. They collapsed from 65 for 3 to 85 for 8 and were eventually dismissed for 112 in 18.4 overs. Dwayne Bravo claimed figures of 3 for 16 in 3.4 overs, and spinners Samuel Badree, Derone Davis and Johan Botha had combined figures of 11-0-64-5.