Best, Edwards fire Barbados to victory
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Ruthless fast bowling from Tino Best and Fidel Edwards positioned them and wonky batting ushered Barbados to an eight-wicket victory over Sussex Sharks on Wednesday, virtually sewing up a place in the semi-finals of the Caribbean Twenty20 tournament.
Kevin Stoute hit a workmanlike 36 not out and Shane Dowrich made 23 not out, sharing an unbroken third-wicket stand of 53, as the Barbadians successfully chased 90 for victory in their Group-B match at Kensington Oval.
Before a crowd in excess of 6,000, Stoute formalised the victory with 32 balls remaining, when he lofted Joe Gatting over mid-off for a deuce.
The result gave the hosts their third straight victory in the tournament and makes them a virtual shoo-in for the Final Four on Saturday. Sussex have completed their quota of four matches, finishing on four points.
Best earned the Man-of-the-Match after he ran through the Sharks top order, taking three wickets for 11 runs from three overs, and Edwards finished the demolition job with three for 18 from four overs. In between, off-spinner Ashley Nurse grabbed two for eight from three overs.
Dwayne Smith typically gave Barbados a brisk start, launching Amjad Khan for two huge sixes. He struck the first over mid-wicket about 15 rows back in the Greenidge & Haynes Stand on the western side and launched the second over long-on into the top floor of the Garfield Sobers Pavilion.
Smith was run out in the fourth over however, and Jonathan Carter labored over seven before he was caught at slip off leg-spinner Will Beer to leave the Barbadians 38 for two in the seventh over.
Pint-sized wicketkeeper/batsman Shane Dowrich, a graduate of the West Indies High Performance Centre, calmed things down with a couple boundaries off Khan in the eighth over, taking Barbados past the halfway stage.
He continued to bat confidently and Stoute blossomed with every passing delivery, taking Barbados to the finish line, much to the delight of the expectant crowd.
Earlier, Best rattled the nerves of the Sharks batsmen. He made the breakthrough in the fifth over, when he bowled Gatting for six, as he tried to make room to play the big drive.
Best swung the match, when he had Chris Nash caught behind for 18 and Kirk Wernars caught at extra cover for four in the space of four deliveries in the seventh over, leaving the English county side on 34 for three.
Carlos Brathwaite continued the carnage, when he had Ben Brown caught at mid-wicket for 13 before Nurse gained two lbw verdicts to dismiss Matthew Machan and Andrew Hood for three and four respectively, leaving Sussex 79 for six.
Edwards then returned for a closing spell and wrapped up the innings, removing William Adkin, Michael Yardy and Chris Liddle in his final two overs.
Barbados face Combined Campuses & Colleges in their final group match on Friday at this venue.