Best, Edwards lead Bajans to T20 win
Bridgetown, Barbados, CMC - Skipper Kirk Edwards managed his best knock of 42 not out following a telling three-wicket haul by fast bowler Tino Best as Barbados won the four-team UWI Cave Hill Campus Twenty20 Festival by five wickets with seven balls to spare over reigning Caribbean T20 champions Trinidad & Tobago at the 3Ws Oval on Friday night.
With Barbados on 63 for four in the 11th over chasing 136 for victory, Edwards, who opened the innings for the first time in the tournament, kept a cool head to add 63 off 49 balls with Alcindo Holder.
The pair came together after wicket-keeper Shane Dowrich had helped West Indies Test batsman Edwards to rebuild the innings from a worrying 28 for three in the sixth over, with the in-form Dwayne Smith among those back in the pavilion.
Edwards, who had mustered 34 runs in his team’s three other matches while batting at No. 3, put on 35 in five overs for the fourth wicket with the adventurous Dowrich before Dowrich was caught at third man by Sunil Narine as he essayed an uppercut off medium-pacer Kevon Cooper, having made 20 off 14 balls.
Urged on by an appreciative crowd, Edwards and Holder ran well between the wickets as they counted only two boundaries in their fifth wicket stand.
The usually aggressive Holder was eventually leg before wicket in the last ball of the 18th over by off-spinner Narine for 23 off 25 balls, hitting just one four.
Edwards’ knock came off 53 deliveries, also with a solitary boundary as Ashley Nurse hastened the outcome by scoring seven not out from three balls.
Trinidad & Tobago took the key wicket of Smith for nine in the second over of the innings when he flicked leg-spinner Samuel Badree into the hands of deep forward square-leg in Rayad Emrit with the score 14.
It was the first failure of the Festival for Smith, who went into the final with scores of 53, 68 and 64 not out.
Two runs later in the over after Smith fell, left-hander Ryan Hinds was bowled by pacer Shannon Gabriel for one and Barbados were under further pressure when another left-hander, Jonathan Carter, edged a hook off seamer Emrit to wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin.
The Trinidad & Tobago fielding left a lot to be desired as four catches were dropped.
Led by an attacking 57 off 47 balls with four sixes and two fours from Cooper, Trinidad & Tobago recovered from 58 for five in the tenth over to score 135 for nine off 20 overs after winning the toss.
Their early problems were caused by Best, who took three for 19 in a three-over spell from the southern end and finished with four for 26 off four overs. All of his victims were West Indies players Adrian Barath (nought), Lendl Simmons (ten) and Darren Bravo (ten).
Barath was well caught at third man by Carlos Brathwaite off the last ball of the first over of the match with six runs on the board, Simmons was bowled by a slower delivery with the score 22 in the fifth over and five runs and three balls later, left-hander Bravo was caught at mid-on, running back, by Nurse.
Skipper Ramdin was caught and bowled by left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn for one to leave the score 34 for four in the seventh over and then Jason Mohammed was caught by Dowrich off fast medium Brathwaite for 17, which meant that significantly, all five batsmen back in the pavilion had recently represented West Indies in one international format or another.
Batting at No. 6, Cooper struck the ball hard and clean. He easily dominated a sixth wicket stand of 56 off 49 balls including four sixes with left-hander Sherwin Ganga, who made seven before he was bowled by off-spinner Nurse as played across in the 17th over.
Benn accounted for Cooper in the next over and Narine and Emrit also perished at the ‘death’.