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Bajans humble Red Force Divas
T&T Red Force Divas' batting woes continued, as they slumped to their second consecutive loss in the Cricket West Indies (CWI) Twenty20 (T20) Blaze tournament, at Sabina Park, Jamaica yesterday.
The defending champions were in a must-win encounter against Barbados to keep their hopes of defending their title alive, but it was not to be and the T&T team struggled with both bat and the ball in the third round of matches played. T&T only managed 92 for 5 in their 20 overs, which Barbados knocked off easily in 15.4 overs.
T&T skipper, Merissa Aguilleira proposed that her team, though well prepared for the tournament, have not been able to find the necessary aggression for the T20 format. “Apparently our aggression went to sleep, and we have so much patience and I think leading into the 50 overs that will be good for us, but it's definitely not for T20. Hard luck, we were prepared, but we just couldn't execute.”
She commended Cooper for her knock and said her team would still stay focused and hope to finish in the top three. “Britney came in in the middle and did really well, she batted well, ran well between the wickets and I think that's exactly what we needed, some kind of aggression,” she said. “At the end of the day we want to make sure we stay close to the top of the table, we know first and second place are definitely gone, but after all, according to how the other games playoff, we have a chance of staying in the top three.”
Barbados won the toss and opted to bowl first. The decision seemed to pay off, with T&T losing three quick wickets inside the first half of the innings. Shania Abdool was the first to go, caught off the bowling of Shanika Bruce for 4. Reniece Boyce followed an over later, caught and bowled by Shamilia Connell for 10 and Stacy-Ann King was the third wicket to fall early, getting caught lbw to Deandra Dottin for 2.
Cooper showed her experience though and kept the runs flowing while steadying the T&T innings and getting them to a respectable total of 92 for five at the end of their 20 overs. Her innings of 47 included five fours and came off 46 balls. She eventually fell to Connell in the penultimate over.
In reply, Barbados made very light work of the small total, racing to their target in 15.4 overs. The Bajan opening pair of Hayley Matthews and Danie Small made their intentions clear from ball one, with Matthews, in particular, being very aggressive. She cleared the ropes twice in the first two overs, dispatching Lee-Ann Kirby's second ball of the innings for six, and then following it up with a four the very next ball.
Kirby's first over would go for 15 and Aguilliera no doubt hoped that veteran WI off-spinner, Anisa Mohammed would clean up, but Mohammed soon found herself under attack as well. Mohammed's first over went for 13, with Matthews clearing the straight back boundary while also getting a four in that over.
Matthews was eventually caught off the bowling of Shenelle Lord for 39 (23 balls), but Barbados was already more than halfway home at that point. Dottin joined Small in the middle and the two kept the score ticking over effortlessly as none of the T&T bowlers besides Lord seemed to have a response for their aggression. Lord was the pick of the T&T bowlers, grabbing three wickets; Matthews (39), Dottin (14) and Kycia Knight (2). She finished with figures of three for 17 off her four overs.
Speaking after the match, Barbados captain, Shakera Selman commended her team for its ability to execute in every match thus far but acknowledged that it would not be relaxing anytime soon with Guyana and Jamaica still to come.
“I think we should be a lot more confident now, but we can't be complacent. Guyana also defeated Trinidad easily and we know what to expect when we face Guyana. We have to play every game hard and hopefully, we can improve as the tournament goes on,” said Selman.
Asked what has been the difference for Barbados this year, given that the team is largely unchanged, she said the teamwork and West Indies players contributions have been the highlight of the tournament for them thus far.
“This year we are really trying to work as a team and we are really asking the WI players to put their hands up. This year we are missing Kyshona (Knight) so we know someone has to double up for her. I think Hayley really put her hand up today and really put Trinidad on the back foot.”
Also in action yesterday were Jamaica versus the Leeward Islands and Guyana vs the Windward Islands.
Scores: T&T 92/4 (20 overs) (Britney Cooper 46; Shamilia Connell 2-17) lost to Barbados 93/4 (15.4 overs) (Hayley Matthews 39, Hayley Matthews 22; Shenelle Lord 3-17)
Coverage is provided by courtesy Caribbean Women Entertainment Sport Network (CWESN) - a non-profit organization dedicated to covering women in sport. Follow them on FB and Twitter @CWESN, IG @cwesportsnet or visit their website www.cwesn.com for women's sport coverage.
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