Cane Farm will be aiming to defend their UWI-UNICOM National T20 Tournament title tonight after claiming a tense four-wicket victory over Central Sports on Thursday night. The 2017 champs, needing 162 for victory, won off the last ball to knockout Central Sports in the first semi-final match at the Sir Frank Worrell Ground, UWI, St Augustine campus.
Captain of Cane Farm, Rayad Emrit, is optimistic of their chances of retaining the title tonight.
“We have a good chance of winning once again because we have a very experienced team and we are gelling together as a unit. Once we continue doing the basics, we will be victorious,” Emrit said.
The difference on Thursday evening was Darren Bravo`s classy unbeaten innings of 83 runs that came off 57 balls, including seven glorious boundaries and five towering sixes. The elegant left-hander shared in a crucial 53-run partnership with hard hitting all-rounder Roshon Primus who chipped in with 38 runs (3 fours, 2 sixes). Sunil Narine had a brisk 14 runs while Lendl Simmons (7), Kevon Cooper (1) and Rayad Emrit (8) fell cheaply. Central Sports’ best bowlers were Akeal Hosein (2/23), Vishan Jaggessar (1/18) and Terrence Hinds, who had an economical spell with 26 runs from his four overs. The momentum of the game swung in Cane Farm favour when Bravo clobbered Hakeem Mitchell for three sixes, and together with Emrit, tallied a tournament-high of 27 runs in the 18th over. Only needing two runs in the last over, the Tacarigua-based team nervously got over the line with Anthony Simmons hitting the winning run off the last ball.
After being inserted to bat, Central Sports could have posted a much higher total than 161, especially having five batsmen scoring at least 20 runs, but no one capitalised on their starts to propel the innings in the latter overs. Adrian Ali top scored for the Central team with 32 runs, before he was run out by Anthony Simmons. Also, dismissing in similar fashion was the dangerous Nicholas Pooran for 24(16 balls, 2 sixes). Narine, aiming at one stump, threw a direct hit from cover. Batting at number 10, Christopher Vincent played a cameo innings of 25 runs from 12 balls (3 fours, 1 six) before he too was run out by Emrit. He was the last wicket to fall with one ball to spare from the allotted 20 overs.
Emrit and Primus had identical bowling figures of (2/26), while Cooper had (2/28). Bravo was awarded the man of the match award for his brilliant innings. Tonight`s final will begin at 6.30pm with Cane Farm playing the winner of the Powergen/Merry Boys clash which played last night.