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TRINIDAD & tobago - Carib Beer Series 2005
Bajans fight back - Sunday 16, January-2005
- Tuesday 18, January-2005 by HAYDN GILL
There is nothing wrong with losing, but when you lose in the manner in which they did, it touches deep down.
Their 48-run defeat against Trinidad and Tobago in a match in which fortunes fluctuated more times than the visitors have beaten the hosts on Bajan soil, was Barbados’ first defeat at this level in 23 matches, their last dating back to 2002 against the very same opponents who conquered them yesterday. Set 257 from a minimum of 97 overs on a pitch which held no last-day terrors, Barbados were in the driver’s seat at 137 for three and comfortably ahead of the asking rate of 2.64.
To the disappointment of those who raced to the ground in the afternoon with a view of witnessing a come-from-behind victory, there was the type of dramatic collapse that unfolded in the first innings.
The destroyer, however, wasn’t Dave Mohammed’s left-arm wrist spin. Instead Trinidad and Tobago’s first first-class victory in Barbados in a decade was completed by off-spinner Amit Jaggernauth.
The 21-year-old Jaggernauth took five for 40 from 18.1 controlled overs and Barbados lost their last seven wickets for 71 to be all out for 208 off 63.1 overs.
The match ended at 3:41 p.m. and to compound the defending double-crown champions’ disappointment, the rain that was threatening for the part of the afternoon, finally came to Crab Hill just after 4 p.m. and continued steadily for an hour.
“We should have won the match, but we were in a back-seat position because of the amount of runs we conceded on first innings,” said Barbados coach Hendy Springer.
There was more than one reason why the defeat hurt. Take for example, Dwayne Smith’s cavalier, free-spirited approach that has its positives and negatives.
The gifted Smith looked as spectacular as ever when he lifted his third ball over the bowler’s head and well beyond the ground and when he effortlessly pushed fast bowler Richard Kelly onto the sightscreen.
It was also entertaining when he dispatched a long-hop over the mid-wicket fence in the first over of a new spell from Mohammed in which he arrived at a half-century from only 38 balls with the help of those three sixes.
But there were occasions when he also threw caution to the wind. He got away when Lendl Simmons dropped a straight-forward chance at long-on when he was 25.
Smith eventually died by the sword in the same over in which he took 12 runs from Mohammed’s first three balls.
When he holed out to deep backward square-leg and was out for 51 off 40 balls, a proliferation of uncomplimentary remarks echoed around the ground.
Without saying it specifically, Springer wasn’t entirely happy with Smith’s approach.
“Some of the players needed to be a more situation aware,” the Barbados coach said. “The Trinidad and Tobago captain put a lot of guys on the boundary, so we needed to pick up a lot more singles.
“I knew they would have bowled a fair amount of overs at us. It was important to pick the singles up and keep the rotation of strike going.”
Opener Martin Nurse was just as devastating as Smith, but he mixed defence with aggression on the way to 55 off 105 balls that included three sixes, two in succession off Mohammed that were carted with immense power over mid-wicket. Nurse started the slide when he was the second of Jaggernauth’s victims, but he wasn’t happy with the lbw verdict given against him. He was one of three Barbados players who seemed to feel they were hard done by the umpires.
Barbados’ cause wasn’t helped by two needless run-outs that contained some similarities.
Dale Richards was again in ominous form with three lovely boundaries in 22 when he found himself at the same end with Nurse after his partner failed to respond to a call for a run to mid-off.
There was a carbon-copy when Shawn Graham offered a run to Smith after he played the ball to mid-on.
“Run-outs always put you in a negative frame of mind. It’s not a wicket which batting teams cater for,” Springer said. “When you sit down to talk about tactics, you never talk about runs. You speak about running between the wickets. It really set us back with the two run-outs. It put us on the back foot because of the quality of players that were run out.”
Earlier, captain Sherwin Campbell carried the fight with 29 and so too did Patrick Browne for his 28 towards the end, but credit must also be given to Trinidad and Tobago for the quality of their catching.
Even though they missed three chances, Kelly took another outstanding one low at deep mid-off that accounted for Browne and Mohammed held the match-winning catch on the deep mid-wicket boundary.
It set off jubilant celebrations among the Trinidadians for the second time in ten weeks, following their capture of the regional limited-overs title at Kensington Oval last November.
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