Saturday, April 13, 2024

Bajans two for two

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It’s often said that low-scoring matches are the ones that produce the most excitement.
Barbados rolled over Jamaica for a modest 73 but made early heavy weather of the target before completing a five-wicket victory in their Caribbean Twenty20 match at Queen’s Park Oval yesterday.
It was their second win on the trot but not many would have predicted their troubled run chase after Carlos Brathwaite, Ryan Hinds and Sulieman Benn instigated a dramatic Jamaica collapse.
Big-hitting Justin Brathwaite provided Barbados with another enterprising start, cracking 23 off ten balls but the loss of four wickets for ten runs created a bit of worry before an unbroken sixth-wicket partnership of 33 between the youthful Kyle Mayers (17 not out) and Shane Dowrich (16 not out) ensured there were no further alarms.
The calming influence of Dowrich and Mayers snuffed out any possibility of a Jamaica victory after Barbados lost the wickets of Ryan Hinds (6), Jonathan Carter (0) and Shamarh Brooks in quick succession that left them 40 for five in the seventh over but in the end Smith’s men got home in 11.2 overs.
“We bowled very well . . .  and the fielders backed up the bowlers. It was good to keep the pressure on and they just folded,” Smith said.
“We are taking it one by one. That’s two out of two now. We just need to continue.”
The win, set up by seamer Carlos Brathwaite’s four-wicket haul, lifted Barbados to the top of the table on eight points after the third day of the competition.
“I’m not the quickest. I just had to be consistent to do what the team needed at the time,” said Brathwaite, who won the Man-Of-The-Match award.
“I bowled a little fuller than my normal length. I also want to say thanks to the skipper and Sulieman for bringing me back after my first two overs were disastrous.”
Brathwaite broke a brisk opening stand of 38 in four overs between Nkrumah Bonner (21) and John Campbell (13) before Benn, Hinds and Smith froze the scoring with a plethora of dot balls.
Smith started with two successive maidens to Jamaica captain Tamar Lambert and gave up only four runs from three overs while Benn was a handful for a second straight match, grabbing two for 14 from his four overs.
Smith also made his presence felt in the field by hauling in four catches and Jamaica, opting to bat first after winning the toss, did not manage a double-digit contribution outside of the openers and No. 9 Krishmar Santokie.
The pressure Smith and Benn applied forced Jamaica into taking risks and a clutter of wickets followed, leading to a swift decline in which eight wickets fell for 13.
After Lambert laboured 25 balls over seven runs, Brathwaite removed him lbw when he aimed to hit to leg.
It was one of several soft strokes that led to Jamaica’s demise in which Hinds claimed three for 12 in four overs.
Last night’s final match brought together Trinidad and Tobago and Combined Campuses and Colleges, while today’s double-header features Windward Islands and Jamaica at 4 p.m. and Trinidad and Tobago and Leeward Islands at 8 p.m.
Barbados’ next match is against Guyana tomorrow at 8 p.m. (HG)

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