Much to the disappointment of their fans, Barbados Pride lost by 72 runs to Trinidad & Tobago Red Force in the Final of the 2016 WICB NAGICO Super50 Championship at Queen’s Park Oval in Port-of-Spain last Saturday.
Set 271 to win in 50 overs, Barbados Pride were bowled out for 198 in 42.5 overs.
Shai Hope topscored for the Pride with 50 off 92 balls including four boundaries.
All-rounder Carlos Brathwaite made 46 off 32 balls, hitting six fours and two sixes.
Hope and Carlos Brathwaite added 59 in 12 overs for the seventh wicket.
Last wicket pair Jomel Warrican (24) and Sulieman Benn (27 not out) put on 49 in 8.3 overs.
Seamer Rayad Emrit was the leading wicket-taker with three for 46 off 9.5 overs.
The Red Force scored 270 for seven off 50 overs after they were sent in.
Darren Bravo sustained his fine form by hitting the topscore of 97 – his third consecutive half-century. He was named Player-of-the-Match.
Left-hander Bravo faced 104 balls and struck eight fours and two sixes.
It was the 40th anniversary of regional limited overs competitions. The first two Finals were contested between Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago with Barbados winning both – by 43 runs at Kensington Oval in 1976 and by eight wickets at Queen’s Park Oval in 1977.
Trinidad & Tobago now boast of a record 12th titles in 17 Finals, while Barbados were contesting an unprecedented 19th Final of which they have won six.
The win could be described as a revenge for Trinidad & Tobago, whose only loss leading up to the Final was against Barbados by three wickets in the last preliminary round. In addition, the previous occasion the teams met in the Final at the same venue two years ago, Barbados won by 17 runs.
On paper and ability, Barbados entered last Saturday’s Final as the stronger team, parading ten players with international experience including six in the current Test squad, compared with five players with international experience by Trinidad & Tobago.
On last Tuesday’s Mid Wicket programme on the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation, I spoke with the Barbados Pride captain Jason Holder, who is also the West Indies Test and One-Day International captain, on the outcome of the NAGICO Super50 Final. Following is the interview:
KEITH: On paper, you were the stronger side against the old enemy, Trinidad & Tobago. Where did you go wrong?
JASON: Well, if you look back on the game, we didn’t play well. I reckon we probably gave up about 30 or 40 runs in the field and credit must go to the way Darren Bravo played. I thought he played a really good innings and he basically batted T&T out of trouble and he also finished the innings well for them.
Then when he batted, we lost early wickets, which put us on the back foot and put us under pressure. We ended up losing by 70-odd runs, which just shows that if had gotten one or two more partnerships up front, maybe a 50-run or 60-run partnership, bigger partnerships up front, the game could have gone a lot different.
We had an unfortunate collision with Shane (Dowrich) and Ashley (Nurse). Shane was one of our leading batsmen (in the Tournament) and when we started to go out to bat, Shane had to be rushed to the hospital because he still had some nose bleeding, so it put us on the back foot when he came in to try and add some stability for us.
And unfortunately when he came back, there was a lot of damage done and there was a lot of work for him to do.
I just don’t think we turned up in all three facets of the game. I don’t think we bowled that badly but I just don’t think we backed up the bowlers well enough in the field.
KEITH: A lot has been made of the toss. Having had a chance to reflect, would you have done the same again?
JASON: Yes, I would have done the same again. It was a collective decision where the entire team was going towards fielding first. I don’t think the toss had much to do with it. I thought the wicket played true or the same way throughout the entire game and it was just a situation where we didn’t execute well. It was just a situation where we were outplayed on the particular day.
KEITH: Your head coach Henderson Springer, on return to Barbados, said in an interview that the Final turned out to be one where the Barbados team would have been a bit tired. I was taken by surprise in relation to the comment but by the time you reached the Final, which was played two days after your semi-final match, were you that jaded?
JASON: Personally, for me and a couple other guys who returned from Australia, it was tough on us. We had travelled from across the globe back to the Caribbean. We had like a day or two at home, but then we had to travel to Trinidad to play the following day. It was tough on me physically but I don’t want to make excuses for our defeat. We obviously didn’t turn up on that particular day.
It was a situation where we did not execute our plans well and we paid for it. I don’t want to make excuses saying that the guys were tired but some of us who were in Australia had quite a bit of a heavy workload leading up to that NAGICO (Tournament) and with only one or two rest days between playing. I think our last three preliminary games we just played, rested, played, rested and then went straight into the knockout phase.
But having said that, I wouldn’t make an excuse for us being tired.
KEITH: Jason, the buck stops at the captain and when I analyse the 50 overs bowled in Red Force’s 270 for seven, Jomel Warrican, five overs for 16 runs; Sulieman Benn, eight overs for 42 runs. In relation to what you and your West Indies pace team-mate Carlos Brathwaite would have done, Carlos was the only one to have bowled the maximum ten overs. He went for 54 runs, picking up two wickets and you, too, also conceded 54 runs from eight overs and gained a wicket.
Again on reflection, you would tend to believe that Warrican at least could have squeezed into another three or four overs, and perhaps Benn even go for his full ten.
JASON: I was trying to get back in Warrican at that stage but one of the things we spoke about was having the two left-arm spinners operating to the left-handers and we always felt that Bravo especially doesn’t start well and doesn’t flow as well to faster bowling.
If I look back on the game, I thought (medium-pacer) Dwayne Smith came in and did a really good job. Perhaps he might have bowled one or two overs too many but I thought he had bowled really well up until that stage.
Jonathan Carter (also a medium-pacer) had been doing well for us in the previous games and I thought that if we controlled the game a bit more with the faster bowlers….
I don’t think Sulieman was at his very best on that particular day but at the stage I thought Warrican came in and bowled really well, coming on to the latter half of the game and then we had always planned for the faster bowlers to finish the innings at the death.
Bravo on the go after reaching 50, it was easier for him to get hold of the two left-arm spinners. Those were the tactics behind the decision-making and if you went back to the second preliminary game when we played Trinidad & Tobago, Warrican’s last over to Bravo I think went for around 20 runs. That was basically when Bravo was on the go and we just felt at that stage with Bravo set and probably looking to launch into the bowling, it was easier for him to get hold of the left-arm spinner.
KEITH: Prior to the final Jason, you were on ESPN lamenting the fact that the surfaces at Queen’s Park were turning, bouncing, you know, that sort of stuff. The West Indies Cricket Board has tried desperately to get the pitches up to a high standard as far as uniformity is concerned throughout the Caribbean. Hence, Mr. Kent Crafton from St. Lucia has been here, there and everywhere. How would you assess the surface for the Final when compared with the others throughout the preliminaries?
JASON: Well, I could go back to the semi-final game (against the Windward Islands Volcanoes). I thought the pitches for the semi-final and the final were good enough for one-day cricket. I don’t think it was a situation where we could blame the surfaces. But the preliminary games, which I played weren’t good for one-day cricket. It was a situation where the ball was virtually holding up on the pitch, very slow and turning from very early in the game, which is not what you really want for a one-day game.
You want a wicket, which is more conducive to stroke-play but we never got that. I don’t know if it is a situation where you are playing so many games at one venue that the pitches become worn and I find it’s a general situation in the Caribbean where the majority of pitches just turn from too early in the game and it makes stroke-play very difficult.
And if you followed the pattern of the Tournament, early on you hardly had scores in excess of 200 runs, which is fairly below standard by world standards. If you look around the world you see a par score being 300 or 320 runs in a One-Day International. We did not have a score of over 300 in this entire 50-over Tournament.
Keith Holder is a veteran, award-winning freelance sports journalist, who has been covering local, regional and international cricket since 1980 as a writer and commentator. He has compiled statistics on the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) Division 1 (now Elite) championship for three-and-a-half decades and is responsible for editing the BCA website (www.bcacricket.org). Holder is also the host of the cricket Talk Show, Mid Wicket, on the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation 100.7 FM on Tuesday nights. Email: Keithfholder@gmail.com.