The Trinidad Guardian / T&T cruised past hosts, Jamaica on Saturday night in the Cricket West Indies T20 Blaze Tournament at Sabina Park, Jamaica, to set up a must-win final today.
Having lost to T&T, Jamaica is second on the points table with nine points, while Barbados sits atop the points table with 12 points as they remain unbeaten.
However, if two teams are to tied on points, as will be the case if Jamaica beats Barbados today, Jamaica will win based on a head to head as outlined by the playing conditions of the tournament.
However, if Barbados win, that team will be declared winners by having the most points at the end of the competition.
On Saturday, Jamaican captain, Stafanie Taylor won the toss and sent T&T in to bat, but it proved to be disastrous for her side. T&T lost the in-form Britney Cooper, who was pulled out of the match at the last minute after pulling a groin muscle during the warm-up. But it was Jamaica who suffered the bigger loss when Taylor picked up an injury while fielding a ball in the 4th over. It meant that the hosts were without their leading bowler and batswoman early on.
T&T did not seem phased by the loss of Cooper though, and batted in high contrast to their previous outings, showing greater aggression throughout their innings.
Lee-Ann Kirby was given the task of opening the batting with Reniece Boyce-T&T’s fourth change to their opening pair in as many matches. Boyce and Kirby got T&T off to a flyer, taking eight runs off the first over bowled by Karla Cohen and 10 off the second by Chinelle Henry. Boyce has trapped LBW for 11 in the third over and Kirby caught at mid-off two overs later for 16, leaving T&T at 40/2 in 4.5 overs.
Stacy-Ann King and Rachel Vincent then paired up to take T&T to their highest total of the tournament thus far , 135 for the loss of five wickets. Vincent contributed a quickfire 35 off 30 balls that included three fours and a six, while King top scored with 39.
In reply, Jamaica struggled from the get-go without their skipper, with stand-in opener, Rashada Williams contributing a slow 31 off 49 balls before she was run out.
Henry, who had her first batting outing for the tournament was the second highest scorer, getting to 24. But they never got anywhere near the target and eventually succumbed to T&T to lose by 43 runs and severely dent their run rate ahead of their final match against Barbados today. Anisa Mohammed was the pick of the T&T bowlers, grabbing three for 17 in her four overs.
T&T meet Windward Islands today from 6:30 pm, Jamaica time, at Sabina Park. They have no chance of defending their title, having already lost two matches, but will hope to record a victory none-the-less to finish at least third. If Jamaica loses to Barbados they will finish second.
In other matches played on Saturday, Windward Islands recorded their second win of the tournament, getting the better of Leeward Islands by 62 runs. LI won the toss and opted to field first and WI wasted no time in piling on the runs. Openers Juliana Nero and Rachel Cyrus had 44 and 30 respectively to take WI to 143 for six at the end of their 20 overs. In reply, LI only managed 81/8 in their 20 overs.
Barbados beat Guyana by 27 runs in the second match played on Saturday. Batting first, Barbados got to 134, thanks to an aggressive knock by Hayley Matthews who raced to 61 off 36 balls before she was out caught. Despite leaving her team on a solid foundation of 99/2 in 11.2 overs, however, the remaining batters struggled and contributed just 35 more runs in the remaining 52 balls.
Guyana lost their skipper, Shemaine Campbell, early. Campbelle has led her team with the bat each time they won, but she only managed 11 on Saturday.
Akaze Thompson (47) and Shabika Gajnabi combined in an attempt to steady the innings and see their team home, but tight bowling from Barbados prevented it. Both were not out at the end of Guyana’s 20 overs in which they lost three wickets. Guyana faces the Leeward Islands this morning from 9:30 am.
Nero, who played 76 ODIs, 45 T20s Internationals and one Test for the Windies between 2003 and 2013, is now among the leading run-scorers and could be in line for a recall for the Women’s T20 World Cup to be hosted in the Caribbean from November 9-24. The tournament concludes today.
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