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January 07, 2007by HAYDN GILL Compliments of the Nation
Trinidad and Tobago 273 & 145, Barbados 228 & 163-4
HATS OFF to Barbados' cricketers.
On a day of excitement and intrigue, they staged a grand revival against
Trinidad and Tobago to move within heartbeats of a comeback victory against
the defending double-crown champions.
After conceding a first innings deficit of 45, they
hit back with venom to roll over the visitors for a modest 145 in the
second innings when the aggressive Tino Best spearheaded the effort with
the support of Dwayne Smith and Pedro Collins.
In pursuit of a target of 191, they were set on the
way by opener Wayne Blackman and when the match took bit of a twist with
three wickets for the addition of 18 runs, captain Ryan Hinds and Dwayne
Smith consolidated with an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 43.
It left a crowd of about 4 000 at the North Stars Club certain that Barbados
get the further 28 runs they need to end a three-match losing streak against
Positive approach pays off
Targets like 191 can sometimes by tricky but Barbados approached it in
a confident manner to score at just under four runs an over.
Wayne Blackman, his inclusion in the side questioned in some quarters,
advertised another side of his batting with a series of fine strokes.
It was heartening to watch Blackman emerge from his customary cautious
methods to play with a measure of authority on the way to his 51 off 67
It meant that the first 13 overs produced 77 runs, prompting Trinidad
and Tobago to turn to their spinners.
Patrick Browne, again given the responsibility of the No. 3 position,
was also in an enterprising manner, playing a number of lovely strokes
in his 31.
But he became bogged down against the spinners and when he tried to free
himself, he pulled an innocuous short ball down the hands of deep mid-wicket.
A lot rested on the sholders of Hinds and Smith after Barbados slipped
from 102 for one to 120 for four, but Hinds and Smith mixed aggression
and defence to prevent any further alarms.
The Best of Tino
When Tino Best is firing on all cylinders, he is a handful. Everyone knows
of his pace and once the puts the ball in the right areas, batsmen will
have it tough.
He was guilty of bowling too short in the first innings, but yesterday
he got his act together and broke the backbone of Trinidad and Tobago's
batting with an impressive four-wicket haul.
Both Daren Ganga and Denesh Ramdin were unable to negotiate lifters, the
first falling to a smart low catch by wicket-keeper Patrick Browne, the
other edging a catch to third slip.
Best also took care of first innings century-maker Kieron Pollard, who
missed a drive, and Richard Kelly, a victim to a sliced drive. The wickets
showed the value of pitching the ball up.
For whatever reason, Best has several detractors. They would have been
T &T suspect to pace
Not for the first time, Trinidad and Tobago's vulnerability to pace bowling
They were distinctly uncomfortable against Best and they were similarly
unconvincing against Pedro Collins, Corey Collymore and Dwayne Smith.
In one over, Collins had three successive lbw appeals against Jason Mohammed
turned down and despite hitting Collins for a six, it was always on the
cards when he edged a catch to third slip.
Smith continues to show his worth with the ball, grabbing three wickets
to prove that he is worthy of the role of the fourth seamer.
All alone on a burning deck
Dwayne Bravo was the only specialist Trinidad and Tobago batsman to offer
any semblance of resistance.
As six of the top seven fell in single-digits, Bravo was undaunted and
batted with plenty of conviction.
His 71 off 104 balls was decorated with 12 attractive boundaries and the
visitors still stood a semblance of a chance when he was in.
He spoilt it only with his dismissal when he was lbw attempting to sweep,
but he gave the impression that he was unhappy with the umpire's call.