Friday, October 23, 2009

Bravo, Ganga set up Trinidad's final with NSW

Dwayne Bravo struck form with a bludgeoning 34-ball 58 as Trinidad and Tobago stretched their unbeaten run to the final of the Champions League, thrashing Cape Cobras by seven wickets in the blood-and-guts second semifinal here on Thursday.

Chasing a stiff 176 to set up final with NSW Blues, Bravo and skipper Daren Ganga (44) produced a match-winning unbeaten 93-run stand for the third wicket and overhauled the target with four balls to spare at Rajiv Gandhi stadium.

Riding on fantastic knocks of JP Duminy (62 not out) and Herschelle Gibbs (42), Cape Cobras put up a competitive 175 for five in 20 overs, after opting to bat.

The match was evenly balanced as the Caribbean had lost three wickets at the half-way mark but Bravo and Ganga batted fearlessly and took the match away from the South Africans, who were let down by some poor fielding.

Bravo's knock was laced with four fours and three sixes while Daren Ganga's unbeaten knock was studded with one hour and two sixes.

The Caribbean side made a blazing start to their chase as William Perkins (20) and Adrian Barath (29) rattled up 53 in the first five overs.

Charl Langeveldt bowled two cheap overs and it was Monde Zondeki who had a first hand experience of the Caribbean fury.

Barath creamed Zondeki for two fours and a six in his first over and Perkins smashed him for three boundaries in his second over as the poor paceman ended up giving away 30 runs out of 38 on the board.

Rory Kleinvedlt was welcomed with a four by Perkins and Barath got into action with a four and six before a terrible mix up between the duo resulted in run out of Perkins.

Duminy came in and strcuk in the second ball, trapping Barath and the two rampaging openers were back in the hut.

Lendl Simmons (20) hit Claude Henderson for a massive six over long-off and got two lives when he was dropped by Henry Davids once off Henderson and few balls later off Duminy.

Justin Ontong got rid of Simmons in the first ball of his spell when he had him caught by Kleinveldt at mid-wicket as the Caribbean side reach 85 at half-way mark.

Skipper Daren and Bravo then erected that magnificent partnership to steer their side to yet another win.

Earlier, Duminy showed patience when his partners were changing quickly from the other end and cut loose towards the end to shape the innings of his side.

The 40-ball knock of the left-hander was adorned with four fours and three sixes.

Gibbs, struggling for runs, struck form when it mattered most as he smashed his way to 27-ball 42, which provided the impetus to the South African innings in the first half. His entertaining knock was laced with five fours and one shot over the ropes. Gibbs made his intent clear when he lofted paceman Ravi Rampaul for an effortless six over the extra cover.

Spinner Sherwin Ganga, drew the first blood when rival skipper Andrew Puttick (10) went for a pull, missed the line and found his timber disturbed.

Davids came to the pitch and smacked a boundary in the third ball he faced from Sherwin, making a positive start. The fireworks began as Gibbs showed scant respect to Bravo, the highest wicket taker of the tournament, creaming him for 18 runs by hitting four smart on-side boundaries in the sixth over of the innings.

Daren brought in Dave Mohammed and the left-arm spinner responded with the wicket of Davids (7), who was done in by a splendid catch by the bowler off his own bowling. Duminy continued with his fine form, hitting Mohammed for a four and a six, maintaining the good run-rate.

Gibbs survived a stumping chance off Kieron Pollard in the last ball of the eight over but Pollard got his man as he bowled him in the first ball of his next over.

Rory Kleinveldt (21) came to the pitch and straight away made an impact by hitting Navin Stewart and Pollard for huge sixes but departed soon while attempting another big shot off Simmons.

Duminy on the other hand was batting sensibly, taking sharp singles and picking up occasional boundaries. After completing his fifty, Duminy opened up and smashed Bravo for a four and a six, pushing the accelerator button.

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