Caribbean T20 off to great start as Jamaica and T&T win

Pre-tournament favourites Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago had it all their way in the opening round of matches in the West Indies Cricket Board’s Caribbean T20 Tournament at Kensington Oval, Barbados on Thursday. Playing Zone A, both teams got easy nine-wicket wins.

The tournament got off a sensational start when Trinidad and Tobago raced to 111-1 in the 15th over after restricting Canada to 110-8 off their 20 overs. Jamaica did not have to work much harder as they motored to 126-1 off 17.4 overs after Leewards were limited to 124-7 off their 20 overs
For Trinidad and Tobago, right-handed opener Adrian Barath played some superb strokes on both sides of the wicket en route to 66 not out off with four fours and five sixes from 47 balls. The 20-year-old won the Player-of-the-Match award as he reached the first half-century of the Caribbean T20 from 35 balls.

Before that he played the shot of the match – a savage slap over point for six which sent the spectators scampering. Barath added 68 for the first wicket with William Perkins (18), and then added an unbeaten 43 for the second wicket with Lendl Simmons (22 not out).

In Match 2, Jamaica had two excellent performances from seamer Krishmar Santokie and opener Xavier Marshall as they brushed aside the Leewards. Santokie, a short, skiddy left-armer, took two wickets in two balls in his second over to end with 3-20 from four overs. The 25-year-old from Clarendon earned the Man-of-the-Match award, as he and off-spinner Chris Gayle (2-19) did the damage before a lively, colourful crowd.

In the second half, the fans were treated to a display of power-hitting by Marshall, who struck six boundaries and two sixes in 62 not out from 57 balls. He offered two chances – to skied catches in the deep – as he added 60 off 7.2 overs with Chris Gayle (21). After Gayle was run out, Marshall was joined by Marlon Samuels, who was playing his first match at the regional level after a two-year absence. They added an unbroken stand of 66 to seal the win.