T&T defeat Leicestershire by 51 runs; make it to the next round

T&T players celebrate their 51 run victory over Leicestershire in the CLT20 qualifiers AFP

By S Janakiram

Hyderabad: Sep 20, 2011

Trinidad and Tobago produced a superb all-round performance as they spanked Leicestershire Foxes by 51 runs to qualify for the Champions League Twenty20 main tournament here on Tuesday.

Riding on openers Adrian Barath and Lendl Simmons’ fluent half-centuries, Trinidad and Tobago first produced a solid batting display to post a competitive 168 for two after electing to bat and then restricted Leicestershire to 117 for nine at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium.

With the win, Trinidad booked a berth in the 10-team main tournament. They had defeated Sri Lanka’s Ruhuna Eleven by five wickets in their first Group A qualifier match here on Monday.

Chasing 169 for a win, Leicestershire never looked like getting there as they made a disastrous start and crumbled to 20 for five inside sixth over.

James Taylor (56) waged a lone battle for Leicestershire, hitting four fours and two sixes on his way to unbeaten 56 from 47 deliveries, but eventually ran short of partners.

Pacer Ravi Rampaul was the wrecker-in-chief with figures of four for 14 while Samuel Badree and Sunil Narine chipped in with two wickets each as the Trinidad bowlers made lives of Leicestershire batsmen miserable.

The trio ran though the English side’s top and middle order batting by sharing eight wickets among them.

Seven of Leicestershire batsmen failed to even cross the double-digit mark.

Badree dismissed up Andrew McDonald (0) in the very first over as the batsman perished trying to make room on the offside, but was clean bowled in the process.

In the next over, Rampaul got rid off Joshua Cobb (9), who fell trying to up the ante but gave away a simple catch to Lendl Simmons.

In the fourth over, Rampaul clean-bowled Wayne White, who departed without even troubling the scorers. Will Jefferson (6) was also clean bowled by Badree in the next over.

Leicestershire crumbled under pressure when Trinidad picked up their fifth wicket in the form of Paul Nixon (0). He was trapped leg before by Narine who got his first wicket of the match.

Leicestershire were left tottering at 20 for 5 in just six overs and it was left to Taylor and Abdul Razzaq (21) to resurrect the innings.

The duo added 47 runs for the sixth wicket in 46 deliveries to take the team’s total past 50-run mark.

With nine overs remaining, Leicestershire needed 122 to win with just five wickets in hand and Razzaq and Taylor tried to make a match out of it but found the asking rate too high.

Razzaq perished in the 14th over trying to go for the maximum off the bowling of Kevon Cooper on the offside but miscued the shot completely. He was caught by Badree.

Once the veteran Pakistani departed, the lower-order failed to put up any fight.

Rampaul picked up two wickets in two balls in the last over as brilliant all-round display by Trinidad team helped them beat English county champions.

Earlier, Barath scored a strokeful 47-ball 62 with the help of six fours and two sixes, while Simmons played 58 balls for his well-crafted 67, which included seven fours, to help their side post a challenging total.

Opting to bat, it was all Barath and Simmons’ show as they not only gave Trinidad a flying but shared 139 runs in 17.1 overs for the first wicket, which is also the Caribbean side’s highest opening partnership in T20 cricket.

Simmons started the onslaught for Trinidad, hitting Gurney for two consecutive fours to accumulate 12 runs in the fourth over.

But Barath was not to be left behind as he and smashed captain Matthew Hoggard for two fours in the next over. He then hit left-arm spinner Claude Henderson for a boundary to bring up Trinidad’s fifty in 6.4 overs.

The right-hander also struck the first six of the Trinidad innings when he clobbered Henderson over the long-off boundary in the ninth over.

Simmons also matched his partner stroke for stroke and hit Wayne White for a four through mid-off to take Trinidad past the 100-run mark.

Gurney finally broke the partnership with a double blow in the 18th over. The left-arm pacer first dismissed Barath caught at deep mid-wicket by Jacques du Toit and then in the next ball accounted for Simmons.

Darren Bravo (18 not out) and Denesh Ramdin (7 not out) then provided the late sparks to take Trinidad past the 150-run mark.

For Leicestershire, Harry Gurney was the most successful bowler with figures two for 33.

Brief Scores: T&T 168 for 2 in 20 overs (Lendl Simmons 67, Adrian Barath 62; Harry Gurney 2 for 33) beat Leicestershire 117 for 9 (James Taylor 56, Abdul Razzaq 21; Ravi Rampaul 4 for 14) by 51 runs

Full Scorecard