T&T Red Force topple Jamaica Scorpions to book spot in Super50 final

By Windies Cricket February 25, 2021

Trinidad and Tobago Red Force made it six wins in a row, as they produced a commanding performance to power past the Jamaica Scorpions and into the CG Insurance Super50 final.

This victory was set up by three key efforts,  Ravi Rampaul started with the ball and was then complemented by Lendl Simmons and Nicholas Pooran with the bat.

Firstly Rampaul, in claiming his second CG Insurance Man-of-the-Match award of the tournament, with figures of 29 for 4, played a key role in restricting the Scorpions to a below-par score of 255-7 on a very good batting surface.

In reply, batting second for the sixth consecutive match, Simmons (63) scored his 27th List A half-century to set the perfect platform, before Pooran’s unbeaten innings of 54, his 11th List A half-century, finished things off in style with eight overs to spare.

Earlier on, Jamaica lost the early wicket of Aldaine Thomas but after that John Campbell (88) and Brandon King (58) played well. When they reached 95-1 in the 22nd over, King smashed Jason Mohammed for a big straight six to bring up his second half-century of the tournament.

The Red Force would strike five overs later with the Scorpions, at 113-2 in the 27th over, when King gave Anderson Phillip his second wicket, playing back to a delivery that kept a bit low. The wicket ended the 108-run second-wicket alliance between Campbell and King.

At 168-2 in the 35th over, the Scorpions looked set for a big final charge. However, the Campbell/McCarthy third-wicket partnership of 58 runs would end as McCarthy (35) presented a catch off veteran leg-spinner Imran Khan to Rampaul at leg on.

Attempting to defend that total, the Scorpions almost got a perfect start in the first over, but Nkrumah Bonner dropped a difficult long-on boundary catch from Simmons off Scorpions off-spinner Jamie Merchant. When Red Force were 29-0 in the fifth over, Evin Lewis (14) was also dropped by Campbell at first slip, again by the unlucky Merchant. As the big-hitting opening duo raced to their 50-partnership in the eighth over, those missed catches were even more critical.

Leading up to the 25th over, Jamaica got three wickets, the last of which when Simmons (68) skied a catch off Allen to Bonner at the long-on boundary. Despite T&T further losing Jason Mohammed (41), who was bowled by Odean Smith, Pooran (54 not out) was joined by captain Pollard (36 not out) who quickly hit five massive sixes to celebrate the win in style and get ready for Saturday's grand final.

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    A dominant KKR eased to an eight-wicket win with 38 balls remaining, with Mitchell Starc inspiring the victory.

    The Sunrisers chose to bat first but were in unfamiliar territory at 13-2 inside two overs as Starc bowled Travis Head, who did not get a single run, before Andre Russell caught Abhishek Sharma.

    Starc took two more wickets in his second over, finishing with 3-34 as the pick of KKR’s bowlers.

    Pat Cummings ensured SRH did not finish with a sub-140 total, knocking 30 before being caught by Rahmanullah Gurbaz, as they set a target of 160.

    Cummings then conceded 20 runs in his first over but eventually bounced out Sunil Narine for 21 after Gurbaz was caught for 23.

    Venkatesh Iyer finished with an unbeaten 51 alongside Shreyas Iyer, who top-scored with a 24-ball 58 to comfortably help KKR reach 164-2.

    SRH will have another chance to make it to the final in the second qualifier where they will face either the Rajasthan Royals or Royal Challengers Bengaluru on Friday.

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  • "Couldn’t be scripted better": King honoured to lead West Indies for the first time "Couldn’t be scripted better": King honoured to lead West Indies for the first time

    Opener Brandon King will captain the West Indies for the first time when they take on South Africa in three T20Is from May 23-26 at Sabina Park in Kingston.

    The 29-year-old has scored 1150 runs in 47 T20Is at an average of 28.04 since his debut against Afghanistan in Lucknow in 2019.

    Captaincy is not new for King as he most recently captained the Jamaica Scorpions in the West Indies Championship after leading the Jamaica Tallawahs in last season’s Caribbean Premier League.

    “Definitely,” was King’s response when asked about whether or not it is an honor to lead the regional side for the first time.

    “It couldn’t be scripted better. It’s an honour to lead the West Indies in any capacity and even more to do it at home so I’m very happy,” he added.

    In addition to leading the Windies for the first time, King also expressed joy at getting to do it in his home country Jamaica.

    “Obviously, extremely happy. I’m always excited to play at home. It’s good that we get some cricket in especially leading up to the world cup. It brings some excitement to the fans so I’m happy about it,” he said.

    The squad recently had a training camp and King is looking forward to the squad getting an opportunity to get some match practice ahead of the world cup set for June 1-29.

    “Match practice is something that you can’t replicate in training. We’re coming from a training camp and this is our opportunity to put those plans and skills in place so we’re very much looking forward to it,” he said.

    Despite some regular squad members being missing from the squad due to the IPL playoffs, King says the players present are looking to implement some of the plans that many hope will lead to West Indian success at the world cup.

    “A few of the guys aren’t here as yet but I think the communication has been clear with the whole group. We know how we want to play and the guys that are here, we’re looking to implement that in this series and see how it goes,” he said.

     

     

     

  • No place like home: Simmons anticipates return to T&T as part of Papua New Guinea's staff for T20 World Cup No place like home: Simmons anticipates return to T&T as part of Papua New Guinea's staff for T20 World Cup

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    “It’s been a long time in the game. It’s always brilliant to come home, always brilliant to come back to any part of the West Indies you know how beautiful it is here. I’m looking forward to getting home, which is Trinidad. Having people come here, me getting back here, it’s always a great thing, it’s always something to look forward to," he declared.

    Simmons, who recently joined the Papua New Guinea squad in their pre-World Cup training camp in St Kitts, expressed pleasure with what he has seen so far.

    “Their energy is unbelievable. Their warm-ups alone, got me tired. The guys look like they have settled in really well. In training, we started to get out in the middle of their game, so they started on some of the things they have to do here in the Caribbean, and it’s nice to see the energy that’s among this squad," Simmons said.

    “I’ve known the head coach [Taibu] for a long time, and he’s always been energetic. There is always a lot of energy, but the players seem to be pushing him where that is concerned, and so I like that atmosphere in the team, I like the liveliness in the team," he added.

    Papua New Guinea will contest Group C alongside West Indies, Afghanistan, New Zealand, and Uganada. They will open against the Caribbean side on June 2, at the National Cricket Stadium in Guyana.

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