Simmons shines in Trini six-hitting carnival
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad – For the second year in a row, Trinidad and Tobago went on a six-hitting carnival against the Leeward Islands.
The pyrotechnic display at Queen’s Park Oval on Wednesday night brought the more than 8,000 fans to life and took the home side to the top of the points table in the Caribbean T20.
The defending champs blasted 14 sixes – which was just one short of the Caribbean T20 record of 15 they set against the same Leewards at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium last year. Darren Bravo led the charge with five sixes in a scintillating top score of 65 not out off 40 balls.
He was given the perfect launch pad by Man-of-the-Match Lendl Simmons, who also clattered five sixes in 62 from 46 balls. They added 70 for the second wicket. Kieron Pollard then hit 29 off 12 balls with three mammoth sixes, as he added 42 in three overs with Bravo.
This gave the home side a total of 187-4 off 20 overs – the highest in the tournament so far. Simmons said after he reached his half-century he had his eyes a century. He warned that come Saturday night, when they face Guyana, he will look to crack three figures.
“After I reached 50 I started to look to kick on and aim for the hundred. That’s why I looked so disappointed when I got out,” the 27-year-old said.
“I didn’t get many runs in the matches before so it was very good to get some tonight and set up the game. It wasn’t the kind of pitch where you could come out and blast from the start ... it’s not the kind of pitch like Barbados and St Lucia which come on freely to the bat. As the main opener in the team, I had to settle in and provide that solid start. After that I got used to the pitch and looked to play my shots.”
Simmons added: “I’m backing myself big time from here. We have never had anyone make a hundred in the Caribbean T20. Chadwick Walton (of CCC) got close the other night with 99 (not out). I’m looking to get to as close as possible in the coming matches.”
After the batting blitz the T&T bowlers then went to work and Leewards were limited to 92-8 off 20 overs, to give the home side victory by 95 runs. Captain Denesh Ramdin held four catches behind the stumps to equal the record for the most dismissal in a Caribbean T20 match.
After four days of competition, T&T lead the table with nine points (three matches) followed by Barbados on eight points (two matches). Jamaica are third on five points (three matches) and Guyana fourth with four points (one match). Three teams: CCC (two matches), Leewards (two matches) and Windwards (one match) are all winless and are yet to register a point.
The Caribbean T20 continues at Queen’s Park Oval on Thursday. Windward Islands will be in action against Combined Campuses and Colleges at 4 pm (3 pm Jamaica Time). Barbados will return to face Guyana at 8 pm (7 pm Jamaica Time).