TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO NATIONAL CRICKET TEAM 2009
CONQUERING THE CRICKET WORLD
This segment outlines the path to fame and glory of our T20 team after its phenomenal performance on the world stage in 2009 at the Champions League in India.
|No.||Name||Date of Birth||Batting Style||Bowling Style|
|1||Daren Ganga||14 January 1979||Right-handed||Right arm off break|
|15||Adrian Barath||14 April 1990||Right-handed||Right arm off break|
|46||Darren Bravo||6 February 1989||Left-handed||Left arm medium-fast|
|54||Lendl Simmons||25 January 1985||Right-handed||Right arm medium-fast|
|5||Sherwin Ganga||13 February 1982||Left-handed||Right arm off break|
|47||Dwayne Bravo||7 October 1983||Right-handed||Right arm medium-fast|
|55||Kieron Pollard||12 May 1987||Right-handed||Right arm medium-fast|
|80||Denesh Ramdin||13 March 1985||Right-handed||—|
|40||William Perkins||8 October 1986||Right-handed||—|
|7||Samuel Badree||9 March 1981||Right-handed||Right arm leg break|
|14||Ravi Rampaul||15 October 1984||Left-handed||Right arm fast-medium|
|24||Sunil Narine||26 May 1988||Left-handed||Right arm off break|
|31||Dave Mohammed||8 October 1979||Left-handed||Slow left-arm chinaman|
|51||Rayad Emrit||8 March 1981||Right-handed||Right arm medium-fast|
|25||Navin Stewart||13 June 1983||Right-handed||Right arm medium-fast|
QUALIFYING FOR CHAMPIONS LEAGUE 2009
The tournament began in 2009 but no team from the Caribbean was invited to participate that year as the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) had no local contest in place then. That meant the tournament organisers, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), had no yardstick by which to judge the teams of the West Indies. Also, there was no demand for the inclusion of our proud cricketing nation, almost at rock bottom in the world standings.
The Trinidad & Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) put forward a case to the WICB for their team to be in the tournament based on their performance in the Stanford T20 tournament held in October 2008.
After much pleading for a West Indian presence, the Champions League organisers acquiesced and T&T were on their way, but they could not locate a sponsor. Not one local company was willing to step up to the plate in Trinidad and Tobago. The captain of the Trinidad and Tobago team approached a friend, a local businessman who contacted another friend, the owner of a poultry conglomerate in India and agreed to sponsor the team. The team uniforms were therefore embossed with the name of the company in India, Venky’s Chicken farmers and distributors.
T&T’s team included Daren Ganga, Keiron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Rayad Emrit and Samuel Badree, a similar foundation for further accomplishments and future T&T teams. T&T won Stanford 20/20 2008, beating Jamaica in that final. By then, Dwayne Bravo and Lendl Simmons had also joined, to augment T&T’s 2006 T-20 team’s base. Later in 2008, Ravi Rampaul, Kevon Cooper, Darren Bravo, Jason Mohammed and Navin Stewart debuted, T&T beating Middlesex in Stanford’s T-20 Super Series. They also ran England close, losing by one run. T&T were completing what West Indies had done between 1974 and 1984!
T&T’s foundation was not only holding up well to scrutiny, but additional building blocks and permanent columns were being added for purpose. The base from 2006 had remained intact while others joined! 2009, Trinidad and Tobago went to new international pastures, maturing along the way, representing the Caribbean in the inaugural (actual) T-20 Champions League, being Stanford 2008 T-20 champions. T&T fared excellently in CLT-20 2009, reaching the final before being blown away by New South Wales fast bowlers Brett Lee, Dough Bollinger and Stuart Clarke, but T&T had represented us brilliantly!
|Combined Campuses and Colleges||0||0||0||0|
|Trinidad and Tobago||2||0||1||0|
STANFORD T20 2008 MATCHES PLAYED BY TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
MAN OF THE MATCH
|2nd February 2008||First Round||St Lucia v Trinidad and Tobago||Stanford Cricket Ground, Coolidge||Trinidad and Tobago won by 8 wickets||Dave Mohammed|
|13th February 2008||Quarter-Final||St Vincent and the Grenadines v Trinidad and Tobago||Stanford Cricket Ground, Coolidge||Trinidad and Tobago won by 59 runs||Dwayne Bravo|
|22nd February 2008||Semi Final||Barbados v Trinidad and Tobago||Stanford Cricket Ground, Coolidge||Trinidad and Tobago won by 5 runs||Patrick Anderson Browne|
|24th February 2008||Final||Jamaica v Trinidad and Tobago||Stanford Cricket Ground, Coolidge||Trinidad and Tobago won by 9 wickets||Dave Mohammed|
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE MATCHES PLAYED BY TRINIIDAD & TOBAGO 2009
MAN OF THE MATCH
|12th October 2009||
|Somerset v Trinidad and Tobago||M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore||Trinidad and Tobago won by 44 runs.||
|A clinical performance from Trinidad and Tobago gave them a comprehensive win over the much fancied Somerset side in their first game of the Champions League 2009/10. Chasing 151 to win and progress into the Super Eight, Somerset failed to chase down the target as they could only manage 106 in their 20 overs.|
|14th October 2009||
|Deccan Chargers v Trinidad and Tobago||Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad||Trinidad and Tobago won by 3 runs.||
|Trinidad and Tobago dump Deccan out of Champions League 2009 and advance into the next round from their group. Deccan Chargers chasing a gettable target off 150 to stay in the competition, the Hyderabadi side looked favourites to win the match at 125 for 5. They could only manage 146 in their 20 overs.|
|16th October 2009||
|New South Wales v Trinidad and Tobago||Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad||Trinidad and Tobago won by 4 wickets.||
|Kieron Pollard played one of the best innings of the tournament to steer his side to a stunning win over a much fancied NSW. Chasing a mammoth score of 171 to win, all hope seemed lost when T&T lost Ramdin but Pollard had other ideas as he blasted a quickfire 54 to take his team to a crucial win.|
|18th October 2009||
|Eagles v Trinidad and Tobago||Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad||Trinidad and Tobago won by 24 runs.||
|Trinidad and Tobago dumped Eagles out of Champions League 2009/10 with a comprehensive win. Chasing a mammoth 214 to win Eagles’ chase fizzled out after Roussow’s dismissal. They needed to scale down the target in 14.2 overs to qualify but in the end could manage 189 in their 20 overs.|
|22nd October 2009||
|Cape Cobras v Trinidad and Tobago||Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad||Trinidad and Tobago won by 7 wickets.||
|Trinidad and Tobago, the only unbeaten team in the CL T20, continued their production of brilliant performances and oozing with Caribbean spirit knocked the Cape Cobras out of the tournament.|
|23rd October 2009||
|New South Wales v Trinidad and Tobago||Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad||New South Wales won by 41 runs.||
|New South Wales on the back of Brett Lee’s all-round performance swept aside T&T to claim Champions League 2009.|
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE MATCHES PLAYED BY TRINIIDAD & TOBAGO 2009
Somerset v Trinidad and Tobago – Group A
Darren Ganga on winning the toss had no hesitation in electing to bat first on a pitch that would aid the spinners as the evening wore on. The openers, Simmons and Perkins were off to a flier as they began to make the Somerset fielders chase the leather in the initial overs with some audacious shots to all parts off the ground. Both the batsmen were beaten but they did not lose sleep over those balls but played positive cricket and Langer looked a very worried man on the ground. The opening duo provided 43 runs in 4.5 overs and just when the stand was becoming dangerous, Simmons hit one straight to third-man to be dismissed. That started a procession off wickets from which for most part off their innings T&T never recovered.
Perkins missed a straight one from Willoughby while Darren Bravo, who had showed his confidence levels by swinging his first ball over long-on, was next to go, to a reflex caught-and-bowled from Willoughby. Dwayne Bravo went for a golden-duck slapping a wide ball from legspinner Max Waller to backward point. Darren Ganga tried to get the innings back on track, but once he was dismissed the innings threatened to go off track. But Denesh Ramdin stayed keep the innings alive and with Sherwin Ganga throwing his bat around T&T pushed past the 150 run mark.
Somerset in reply looked never at ease against the T&T bowlers as they lost wickets at the crucial junctures. Marcus Trescothick was the first to go, nicking Dwayne Bravo to the keeper in the second over. Craig Kieswetter made four before charging out and trying to flatbat a short ball, only to lob it to Darren Bravo. Justin Langer was the next batsman to be dismissed as he pulled a legstump ball to William Perkins at square leg. The spinners from T&T continued turn the screws on the Somerset batsmen as they suffocated them to a slow death.
Only Zander de Bruyn looked comfortable in the middle while the rest off the batsmen succumbed in trying to up the ante. Dwayne Bravo finished with four wickets while Sherwin Ganga took two wickets.
Deccan Chargers v Trinidad and Tobago – Group A
In a must win match, Adam Gilchrist after winning the toss elected to field first so that he could negate the net run-rate calculation that might come into picture later. But unfortunately for him his opening bowlers refused to respond to his plans as Fidel Edwards and RP Singh sprayed the ball around in the initial couple off overs to let the batsmen off the hook. Edwards finally got his radar right in the third over off the innings to trap Lendl Simmons leg before to provide some respite for Gilchrist. RP Singh continued to disappoint as he at one point delivered three consecutive no-balls in a over that cost 15 runs and Gilchrist was looking for a solution. Darren Bravo was looking dangerous with his fluent cover-drives, flicks and pulls but part time off-spinner Suman finally beat him in flight who popped up a simple return catch to the bowler.
T&T got a body blow when skipper Ganga failed to beat a direct throw from Symonds from mid-off as he was dismissed for a duck and the score read 53 for 3 in six overs. The conclusion of the powerplay brought the spinners into action as Ojha and the other set off tweakers put a lid on the scoring off T&T. Gilchrist brought back Edwards and he trapped the dangerous Perkins leg before with a full and straighter one. Bravo who had endured a painful stay at the crease was finally send back when another direct hit, this time from Suman and T&T slipped to 92 for 5 in 13.1 overs. Pollard displayed his boundary clearing capability by clearing the ropes four times to up the ante as 27 runs came in between the overs 14 to 16 as the run-rate crept past the seven and a half run mark. Edwards cleaned up Pollard to limit the damage that could have been caused had he stayed a little longer. The tail nudged and pushed around to help T&T reach a competitive 149 in their 20 overs.
Gilchrist got the chase off to a rollicking start with an upper cut off Rampaul over third man for a huge six but at the other end Bravo removed Laxman with a one that kept a little low. Bravo struck again when a hint off away swing from him accounted for the wicket off Abhinav Kumar and things got worse for the Hyderabadi side when a massive misunderstanding between Gilchrist and Symonds saw the back off the latter. The pressure was building on Deccan Chargers when Rohit Sharma pulled a couple off boundaries off Sherwin Ganga and Gilchrist collected 13 off a Pollard over to ease the pressure.
The pair off Gilchrist and Sharma added 55 runs in 7.2 overs and skipper Ganga was looking worried as he handed the ball to Lendl Simmons. Simmons served up a rank long hop which deserved to be put out off the ground but Gilchrist could only manage to find Pollard at deep square-leg who took a brilliant catch. The wicket of Gilchrist was followed by the wicket off Rohit Sharma who drove lazily to backward point and soon Deccan slipped 86 for 5. VenugopalRao cleared the boundary ropes twice to provide some respite to the derailed innings of Chargers but misunderstanding between Styris and Rao put an end to the innings off Styris.
Rao continued to find the gaps and the occasional boundary but round the wicket tactics from Rampaul got the batsmen edging to the keeper. When Bravo took the last over the Chargers needed 8 from six balls. RP Singh swung the bat around but connected only with thin air while Edwards sacrificed his wicket in trying to get Suman on strike. Needing four to tie the score Suman could only manage a single to long-off and in the process Deccan Chargers got knocked out off the competition.
New South Wales v Trinidad and Tobago – League A
Kieron Pollard played one of the best innings of the tournament to steer his side to a stunning win over a much fancied NSW. Chasing a mammoth score of 171 to win, all hope seemed lost when T&T lost Ramdin but Pollard had other ideas as he blasted a quickfire 54 to take his team to a crucial win.
Katich had no hesitation in electing to bat first on a pitch where 180 was reckoned and his decision was vindicated by a rousing opening partnership between Phil Hughes and David Warner. The pair added 121 in 15.2 overs to deflate the Trinidad and Tobago bowling attack.
Warner set the trend for the innings when he found the cover fence and it was no looking back for the left-handed pair. Hughes soon joined the party and NSW were off to a positive start. While Hughes depended on exquisite timing, Warner employed a more muscular approach as they walloped a hapless T&T bowlers black and blue.
Runs came in a torrent for the pair as neither pace nor spin seemed to hinder their approach. Skipper Ganga realising the impotency of his pacers employed the services of spinner Sherwin Ganga who put a lid on the scoring.
After the initial burst from Warner he went quiet and Hughes took over the scoring as he found the boundaries regularly. The powerplay yielded 50 runs but the next three overs cost only 11 runs as spinners Ganga and Dave Mohammad exerted some degree off control.
The two spinners in operation at that period took the ball away from the left-handed openers. Both batsmen managed to prevent the adrenalin rush and played out this period intelligently with singles and twos.
Hughes kept the strike longer than Warner and at the end off 11th over the score read 77 for no loss with Hughes on 49 and Warner on 27. Ganga introduced his leg-spinner Badree and Warner went berserk. Warner missed a long hop first up and on the second ball he survived a run-out when he tried to steal a second run.
The next four balls disappeared for 22 runs as Badree came under a vicious attack by the diminutive opener. Two over-pitched deliveries disappeared over long-on and long-off and Badree over-compensated by shortening his length and Warner crashed them to square-leg. The last ball was again a long hop and Warner deposited it into the midwicket stand and he overtook Hughes to the fifty run mark.
Eventually Warner was dismissed as he tried to repeat his six-hitting prowess against more experienced and wily Dave Mohammad but could only lob an easy catch to Dwayne Bravo at midwicket. Henriques joined Hughes in the middle and there was no let-up in the run-rate as the two continued to toy with the T&T bowling attack.
Hughes targeted a luckless Rampaul whose excellent deliveries went unrewarded on several occasions. A brace of wickets in the last over off Dwayne Bravo stopped NSW in their tracks but still they were able to rack up an imposing total in their stipulated 20 overs.
T&T in reply got off to a mixed start as opener Perkins found a couple off boundaries to get the innings kick-started. 24 runs came in just two overs and it was evident that the West Indian side will not be going down without a fight. Perkins innings was cut short when his fierce cut shot landed straight into the hands off Hauritz at deep point.
Simmons was the next to go when Bollinger trapped him leg before with a one that straightened from around the wicket. Bravo promoted up the order did nothing off much note when a top edge from him went as far as fine-leg where Bollinger took a well-judged catch and the scorecard read 30 for 3.
Darren Bravo was joined in the middle by his captain Darren Ganga and the two went about rebuilding the innings. Both of them deposited Hauritz into the stands to signal their intentions but the stand did not go far as Darren Ganga carelessly wandered out off his crease only for Katich to hit the stumps to run him out.
Darren Bravo continued to hit out but he too was a victim of another run-out as this time it arose due to misunderstanding between him and Ramdin. Ramdin meanwhile made amends for the run-out with some lusty blows to help keep T&T in the contest but another run-out claimed the wicket of Ramdin and it seemed that the West Indian side had reached the end.
But Kieron Pollard who was quietly assessing the situation at the other end exploded in the next over bowled by Henriques. The bowler faced a the unbridled fury off the tall right-hander as he was trounced for 27 runs. The first ball was a wide one and the re-ball was sent to the cover-fence. The next ball raced through the point fence to rub to rekindle hope for the West Indian side.
The next two balls were juicy full tosses and Pollard without much trouble deposited one into the midwicket stand and another into the square leg stand to tilt the match in T&T’s favour. With Henriques unable to find the yorker length banged the ball in short coaxing Pollard to go for the pull shot which he duly sent it over fine-leg and the equation became 24 off 18 balls.
Lee was brought back into the attack and Pollard was sensible enough to see off the fast bowler to reduce the required margin to 16 off 12 balls. With Katich running out off options he had to turn to Henriques. Pollard continued to train his guns on the unlucky bowler as he simply swatted a boundary and a couple off sixes to finish off the match to leave NSW team wondering as to what had hit them.
Eagles v Trinidad and Tobago – League A
Trinidad and Tobago dumped Eagles out off Champions League 2009/10 with a comprehensive win. Chasing a mammoth 214 to win Eagles’ chase fizzled out after Roussow’s dismissal. They needed to scale down the target in 14.2 overs to qualify but in the end could manage 189 in their 20 overs.
Ganga had no hesitation in electing to bat first and his batsmen did the rest. Perkins set the ball rolling with a boundary and six in the very first over and that was just an indication of what was to come. Adrian Barath who came in because Darren Bravo was unfit was dropped by de Villiers off his own bowling and that was just the right break for the right hander as he cut loose. That drop then went on to pain the South African side for the rest of the innings as the opening pair stormed a woeful bowling. Perkins and Barath joined hands to shred any plans the bowlers had before the match as they caused turmoil in the camp off Diamond Eagles. The pair combined to score 17 runs off a Mpitsang over and that was just the beginning off what Eagles was about to witness for the next 17 overs. The pair did not take their foot off the accelerator as they punished the wayward bowlers without any trace off mercy.
For six overs Eagles’ skipper Dippenaar did not know what had hit his bowlers as the two diminutive openers went about playing some aggressive shots to all parts off the ground. With the powerplay out of the way Dippenaar pressed into services of off-spinner Tshabalala and he duly struck in the fourth ball he bowled as he cleaned up Perkins with a slower one that spun in sharply. The new man Simmons got a gentle full toss first up and he did not waste time as he launched it over long on and off the next ball square drove for four to signal his intentions. With the field spread out Barath opted for getting the singles and doubles and he reached his half-century off only 34 balls.
Dippenaar brought back de Villiers in the 14th over and the carnage which had stopped for brief period resumed immediately. Barath sliced one over point to start the party and then Simmons made it a nightmare for the bowler as he tickled one to fine leg and then crashed one through covers to inflict more pain on the bowler. Finally Barath ended the over with a ferocious drill past the bowler. Simmons finally was cleaned up by a superb inswinger from McLaren for 40 off 25 balls. In walked Pollard and many expected him to go ballast from the first ball. He took two balls to assess the nature off the pitch and once he sized it up played an imperious straight-drive to kick start his innings. He did not disappoint his admirers as he cleared the boundary ropes twice but got dismissed trying to repeat the feat. Navin Stewart playing his first match off the tournament ransacked 27 runs of 19th over bowled by du Preez to help T&T get past 200 run mark.
Needing to chase 214 off 86 balls to qualify for the semi-finals Rossouw and van Wyk got the innings off to a rollicking start as they walloped the opening bowlers off T&T into submission with some intelligent hitting. Anticipating a carnage that might unfold skipper Ganga introduced Sherwin Ganga as early as the fourth over and van Wyk responded by collecting three boundaries and it seemed that the move had backfired spectacularly. Suddenly the off spinner slipped in a low full toss which the burly right hander missed completely to be trapped leg before.
Rossouw continued to make merry as he hammered the T&T bowlers to all parts off the ground to keep abreast with the creeping run rate. Just when the match began to swing into Eagles’ favour Sherwin Ganga slipped in another full toss to claim the wicket off McLaren. duPreez was promoted up the order to tonk the ball around and he duly did what his captain had asked him to do. Rossouw who was in a ruthless mood tried to keep hitting the ball into the stands and finally gave away as he top-edged one from Simmons to Pollard at deep midwicket to end his innings.
Dippenaar and du Preez added 58 in 8.2 overs to bring some respectability to the score off Eagles. They ran the singles hard got the boundaries but the asking rate was always beyond them. Skipper Dippenaar finally fell when he edged one off Pollard through to the keeper and du Preez holed out into the deep off the same bowler as Eagles’ challenge fell apart.
Cape Cobras v Trinidad and Tobago – Semi – Final
Trinidad and Tobago, the only unbeaten team in the CL T20, continued their production of brilliant performances and oozing with Caribbean spirit knocked the Cape Cobras out of the tournament. They have set up a title clash against New South Wales tomorrow.
The game though was by no means a replica of the first semi-final. Both the teams looked heavy on one another at their moments but it was the T&T who hit the final blow, a telling one as Dwayne Bravo’s first major contribution with the willow after a pathetic show with the leather, proved decisive on an expected thrilling evening.
Cobras did a lot of damage to themselves as they missed catches and run-out oppurtunties at crucial juntures. On the other hand, it was these exceptional tackling of moments that won T&T the game. They kept in chipping with Cobras wickets everytime the South African unit looked taking the ascendancy. The last over by Ravi Rampaul in which he only gave away two runs was also one such moment as JP Duminy at that time threatened to lift the target near 190. Indeed it was a game of moments and T&T undoubtedly were better in handling those.
Chasing 176 to win, T&T openers started in usual swashbuckling style. After the first over by Charl Langeveldt which went for two runs and was probably the only over given some respect, Adrian Barath and William Perkins began business as usual. The second over went for 14, third for 6, fouth for 14 again and the fifth for 15 and at the end of the fifth over, the Trinidadians were sitting pretty at 53. Unfortunately for them they lost Perkins in a bad mix-up but apart from that, not even a foot was put by them at the wrong place.
Seeing that spinner Tyron Henderson did well in his over, Puttick brought in Duminy immediately after the powerplays got over. What a change that turned out to be as the off-spinner who had done so well with the bat just 30 minutes back, struck immediately with the leather sending back Barath, trapping him plumb in front for 29. The run-flow though didn’t ebb as Lendl Simmons took over from where his openers left. He sent Henderson over long-off for a huge six in the eighth over. Post this the next two overs turned out to be a nightmare for Henry Davids. He dropped Simmons twice in two overs and though the right-hander did not do much damage himself, getting out sooner for 20, the notable fact was that it was these missed chances that shifted the momentum once again towards the favour of the red coloured outfit.
Dwayne Bravo and skipper Daren Ganga combined after Simmons’ fall and they batted with great alacrity and elegance taking the team home in scintillating fashion. Bravo it seemed wanted to put his bad bowling behind him and took the onus on himself to do most of the scoring as Ganga played second fiddle, by no means though did he play any bit less aggressive finishing with a strike rate of 141 as compared to 170 of Bravo.
The duo though did not start off all guns blazing from the word go. It took them three overs to get going and Bravo started the onslaught with a six of Ontong, followed by Ganga who carted Duminy for a maximum in the next over. The series of missed catches continued, this time Ontong, one of the best fielders in the Cobras outfit dropped a dolly from Bravo.
After the reprieve, Bravo didn’t look back. Vernon Philander in the very next over was hit for two sixes by him. Ganga took care of Henderson in the next over hitting him for a six and a four to continue the rampage. With this, the game was in Caribbean control as only 33 were needed in the last four overs. The duo though didn’t need the remaining 24 to scale the target, they finished the task in just 20, justifiably with Bravo hitting the winning runs as the red devils beat the Cobras comprehensively by seven wickets.
Earlier, after winning the toss in the evening, Cape Cobras skipper Andrew Puttick had no hesitation in opting to bat on a belter at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium in Hyderabad. The Cobras were boosted by the return of CharlLangeveldt, a T20 specialist for the crucial game. Puttick reckoned 170 could be a good total to put pressure on the team chasing, and his batting attack provided him exactly that.
T&T, probably the most exciting team of the tournament entered the game unchanged. The confidence was visible in the eyes as Daren Ganga said he was happy to bowl, considering he didn’t know what a good score on a good wicket in this format is.
Then when it came to the Cobras batting, it didn’t look all that racy as none of their batsman except for JP Duminy was allowed to stay the distance by the T&T bowling. The innings was an example of some good batting, exceptional bowling (the last over by Ravi Rampaul one example of it) and inspirational fielding. Fortunately for the Cobras, they had the early momentum courtesy Herschelle Gibbs, who hit a quick 42 and that alongside Duminy’smasterclass knock made sure they had a formidable score for their bowlers and fielders to defend.
First up though the Cobras took their time. Gibbs wasn’t all that sure of his feet movement and he alongside Puttick took a couple of overs to get known to the turf at hand. Gibbs, had come into the match with only three runs in the tournament thus far but then cometh the hour, cometh the man. He once again rose to the occasion when the need was most and started to show his colours against Dwayne Bravo and Rampaul.
Gibbs’ assault forced Daren Ganga to bring back his spin bowling brother Sherwin for his second over in as early as the fifth one of the innings. He struck immediately, bowling Puttick with the score on 30. From ther other end though the carnage continued non-stop as Gibbs steamrolled Bravo in the sixth over for 18 runs.
Then after the powerplays Dave Mohammad was immediately introduced as the Cobras by now had leapt to 54 for 1. The decision to bring the left-arm spinner yielded dividends immediately as the bowler pulled off a scintillating return catch to dismiss Henry Davids. Then started another unique method of celebration, this time he had his country’s flag in his pocket and he set off with it in his hands. The guys in red could have celebrated more sooner had the third umpire not awarded Gibbs benefit of doubt in one of those close stumping cases. The incident though didn’t cost them much as Gibbs was bowled by a slower ball from Pollard for 42 off 27 balls sooner.
Its surprising though as how Duminy goes about his job as though wickets kept falling from one end, JP went about his task in the most clinical manner. He had begun by attacking Mohammed, through extra cover for four and then slog-sweeping him for six, For a short while after this Kleinveldt overshadowed him as the visibly more powerful men lofted Lendl Simmons straight down the ground and looked as if had been caught by Pollard, who combined athleticism and brain to pull of an impossible catch. Pollard caught the ball on the boundary but then realized he was too close to the ropes for his comfort. He threw it back and stepped out before sprinting back, diving full length to take the catch. Then even though replays did not show the ball hitting the ground, the third umpire took the safe option and the batsman was given not out.
Kleinveldt, also though like Gibbs, did not last long after the reprieve holing out to deep midwicket. By now the stage was set for Duminy to launch. He was always maintaining a decent strike rate and now it was onto him to give Cobras a good total. He started with a flat-batted six of Sherwin Ganga and though his lower order mates could not match him, he still worked up pace taking 20 of the 19th over, bowled by a hapless looking Dwayne Bravo.
The final momentum going into the dug-out though rested with T&T as Rampaul, gave his side a last-over boost by conceding only two runs off it, limiting Cobras to 175.
New South Wales v Trinidad and Tobago – Final
New South Wales on the back of Brett Lee’s all-round performance swept aside T&T to claim Champions League 2009. It was the question of who will handle the pressure better in the big final and NSW proved that they were a notch better than T&T. Brett Lee did the job with the bat, got the initial wickets and drove the final nail in the T&T coffin when his catch ended dangerous Pollard’s stay in the crease.
Ganga did not think twice as he elected to field first after winning the toss believing that his team could chase down any target set by NSW. Ganga opened with his off-spinner Sherwin Ganga and he did an excellent job first up by keeping Warner and Hughes quiet. Rampaul shared the new ball with Ganga and he did not disappoint his captain as he too stuck to the job asked of him. Warner got some impetus into the innings by getting boundaries to try and force T&T to go on the defensive as Ganga had employed an ultra-attacking field. Hughes trying to catch up with Warner tried to pull a ball not short enough and found his middle stump pegged back. Bravo delivered a mixed over next up in which he claimed the wicket of the dangerous Warner but was carted twice beyond the boundary ropes by Katich.
Bravo struck again when Katich who was middling the ball well spooned an easy catch to Barath at mid-off. NSW continued to slip as Henriques swung a long-hop from Pollard straight to Sherwin Ganga at deep square leg and NSW was reeling at 47 for 4 in 7.2 overs. The task of resurrecting the innings fell on the duo of Rohrer and Steve Smith and the former did not disappoint. Rohrer lifted Bravo over fine leg for a six and then found the fence to put some momentum back into the innings but Dave Mohammed had other ideas. Rohrer got a short ball from Mohammed which he pulled powerfully over midwicket but the force of the shot forced his bottom hand to come off the bat handle and the ball merely lobbed to Sherwin Ganga patrolling the boundary ropes. The innings slipped further when Daniel Smith was cleaned up an off-cutter from Rampaul which seamed in a long way and the scorecard showed 83 for 6 in 11.2 overs.
That brought together Smith and Lee together with an onerous task of breathing new life into the innings. The pair first took stock of the situation as they calmed the frayed nerves in the dugout by pinching the singles to keep the scorecard moving. By the 15th over the pair began to open up as Smith lifted Mohammed straight over his head and Lee took this as his cue to attack and he teed off. Simmons bowled the 16th over and that cost 18 runs. The first delivery, a full toss, was swung over square-leg for a six, the fourth delivery deposited over long-on, and the last one was carved to cover boundary as Lee went berserk. Lee continued to clear the boundary ropes with ease as Navin Stewart disappeared over long-on and Sherwin Ganga was heaved over midwicket. Lee finished with a flourish and when he was finally dismissed for 48 he had led NSW to a formidable total of 159.
Lee continued his good match as he cleaned up an advancing Perkins with a fast and fuller length delivery for a duck. Katich summoned the services of leg-spinner Steven Smith in the second over and Barath sensing an opportunity to score some quick runs threw his bat around. He found the cover fence twice before lifting the leg-spinner over long-on for a six. But unfortunately for T&T, Barath edged one through to the keeper and T&T slipped to 21 for 2 in two overs. Lee continued to put NSW on top as he picked up a stunning return catch off Simmons to apply pressure on T&T. But the West Indian side did not let the fall of wickets dampen their approach as Bravo collected the boundaries to keep T&T at par with the required run-rate.
Bravo got a couple of boundaries and even lifted Bollinger over long-on for a massive six but the bowler struck back when he forced Bravo to inside one onto his stumps and T&T slipped further. Skipper Ganga was joined in the middle by Ramdin and the two tried to keep abreast with the creeping run-rate. Their task was made the more difficult as Hauritz and Clark stifled the batsmen with some tight bowling. Ganga tried to break free by lifting Smith over mid-on but the bowler had the last laugh when Ganga slapped a short and wide ball straight to Warner at point. Pollard who had destroyed NSW in their previous encounter survived a couple of anxious moments when he survived a run-out and a vociferous shout for leg-before off leg-spinner Smith. Pollard displayed his hitting prowess as he packed off Bollinger over square-leg for a huge six.
Clark was brought back to get a breakthrough and he did just that as he was able to prise out Ramdin who played straight to Smith at short third-man. With the wickets tumbling Pollard decided to throw caution to the winds as Hauritz found himself clobbered twice in the same over beyond the boundary ropes and T&T innings began to gather momentum. But Hauritzneutralised the blows by claiming the wickets off Sherwin Ganga and the dangerous Pollard in the same over to end the hopes of the Caribbean side. Clark then officially brought down the curtains on the first edition of the Champions League when he dismissed Stewart and Mohammed to ensure that the victory trumpets blew in favour of the Blues.