A FIGHTING HALF CENTURY FROM THE LIMACOL CARIBBEAN PREMIER LEAGUE�S YOUNGEST PLAYER, NICHOLAS POORAN, FAILED TO SAVE THE TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO RED STEEL AGAINST THE GUYANA AMAZON WARRIORS.
Georgetown, Guyana � 31 July 2013 � A fighting half century from the Limacol Caribbean Premier League�s youngest player, Nicholas Pooran, failed to save the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel against the Guyana Amazon Warriors. Pooran blasted 54 runs from just 24 balls to hit the Red Steel back into a match they were quickly falling out of. However, once the 17 year old fell, the Red Steel quickly rusted.
T&T Red Steel were chasing a challenging target of 156 for victory. Dwayne Bravo won the toss and elected to field first with three of his fellow countrymen playing for the Amazon Warriors. One of those countrymen, Lendl Simmons, would be the subject of much headache for Bravo in the early period. Together with his fellow opening partner, Martin Guptill, the Amazon Warriors got off to a quick start with the first wicket putting on 74 runs.
Guptill struck 32 from 21 balls in a knock that included three fours and a six. Simmons was equally aggressive from his end, striking 42 from 50 balls. But when both batsmen were out, the Red Steel managed to pull things back in the middle overs. From 98/2, the Guyana Amazon Warriors slipped to 106/5 in the 17th over. Sulieman Benn returned with his second spell to stifle the scoring rate. Kevon Cooper also proved an asset with the ball.
However, Amazon Warrior captain Ramnaresh Sarwan joined James Franklin at the crease, and together both batsmen ended the innings on a high. Red Steel captain, Dwayne Bravo, was on the receiving end, conceding 37 runs from his last two overs. Franklin hit anything that was in his range for six. He ended on 26 from 20 balls while Sarwan chipped in with 21 from 12 balls. Bravo�s figures had gone from economical to a disaster. He finished with 4-0-41-2.
During the slow middle overs, the Warriors looked like they would have to settle for 120. Instead, the boost at the end of the innings had catapulted the home side to 155/5 from their 20 overs.
It meant T&T Red Steel needed 7.80 runs an over at the start of their chase to win the game. That was always going to be a tall order with the likes of Krishmar Santokie and Mohammad Hafeez opening the bowling. South African opener, Davy Jacobs, struggled to get the ball away. After the first five overs, the Red Steel were 24/0, a stark contrast to the Warriors, who were 44/0 at the same stage.
Guillen tried his best to up the tempo, hitting three boundaries, one of which was a lucky inside edge off Hafeez that would pass agonizingly close to the stumps. His luck didn�t last long though, as Hafeez got one to keep low, breaking through his defence. At the other end, Jacobs couldn�t seem to get into Twenty20 mode, knocking the ball around for singles as the run rate rose rapidly.
When he went at the end of the 9th over, with the Red Steel on 46/2, Darren Bravo and Ross Taylor followed soon after, offering small partnerships along the way. It was the introduction of Pooran though that breathed the life into the Red Steel innings that seemed to be missing. The young Trinidadian took the attack to every bowler, including world number one, Sunil Narine. He struck one four and six sixes in a crucial knock of 54 that gave the tourists hope.
Things still looked grim for T&T Red Steel but while he was at the crease, the hopes of his franchise rested on his little shoulders. He crashed the ball to almost every part of the ground. The best part of his innings would have been his six-hitting skills, because his team needed nothing less than maximums. For a little man, he packed a big punch but the task was just too big for him. He took T&T Red Steel to 124 before being caught at long-off. You wouldn�t think the Amazon Warriors would have been that relieved to see the back of a seventeen year old.
With just 14 balls left in the innings though, and still 32 runs required, another Pooran needed to step up. Captain Bravo could have been the man, and probably would have been. His dismissal prompted a little bit of controversy. Having been caught by Christopher Barnwell straight down the ground off Narine, Umpire Peter Nero went to the third umpire to check the no-ball. The replays showed Narine�s front foot was on the line. It should have been a no-ball and a reprieve for Bravo, but instead he was still given out.
The last hope for the Red Steel was in the form of hard-hitting batsmen Kevon Cooper and Kevin O�Brien. With 25 runs needed from the last two overs, Krishmar Santokie was chosen to deliver the penultimate over. With his first ball, fielding a straight drive off his own bowling from O�Brien, Cooper had come charging down looking for a quick single. Santokie needed to hit to run out Cooper and he did. The very next ball he had O�Brien fooled with a slower ball that cannoned into his middle stump.
It was all over there, and Santokie deservedly named Man of the Match for his performance as the Amazon Warriors restricted the Red Steel to 136/9, winning by 19 runs.