TT Red Force are now one win away from winning the CG Insurance Super50 tournament after completing a six-wicket win over Jamaica Scorpions in the semifinals at Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua, on Wednesday.
Chasing 256 for victory, Red Force got to 256/4 in 42.1 overs. Openers Evin Lewis and Lendl Simmons put on 63 in ten overs, before the former fell for 24. Scorpions were disappointing in the field dropping a few catches and misfielding. Red Force had solid partnerships throughout as Simmons and Darren Bravo added a further 35 runs when the latter was dismissed for 19 to leave the score 98/2 in the 17th over.
Jason Mohammed, the leading run scorer in the tournament, joined Simmons to keep Red Force on top. Whenever Red Force were in a commanding position Scorpions got a breakthrough to give themselves a glimmer of hope. Simmons was next to go for 68 off 70 balls (seven fours, three sixes) to end a 41-run partnership.
Nicholas Pooran, who has had a quiet tournament, delivered with a knock of 54 not off 40 balls. Pooran lost his partner Mohammed for 41 with the score on 198, but Red Force captain Kieron Pollard came to the middle and avoided any further damage.
Pollard (36 not out off 18 balls) and Pooran combined to put on an unbroken stand of 58 to take Red Force home.
Bowling first, experienced fast bowler Ravi Rampaul showed his class with a four-wicket haul as Scorpions posted 255/7 in their 50 overs. John Campbell, playing his first match of the tournament, combined to put on 108 runs for the second wicket with Brandon King after Aldane Thomas fell for one.
However, the Red Force bowlers kept the scoring rate down as when King fell in the 28th over Scorpions only had 113 on the board. King scored 58 off 81 deliveries, a knock which included five fours and one six.
Andre McCarthy came to the crease and increased the scoring rate with positive strokeplay. McCarthy, who struck 35 off 29 deliveries, dominated a 58-run partnership with Campbell. The pair took the score to 171 in the 37th over, before McCarthy lost his wicket.
Scorpions struggled to put together partnerships of note following the loss of McCarthy with Rampaul starring with the ball.
He snatched the last four wickets including the wicket of Campbell for 88. Campbell, who played for West Indies in a recent tour of Bangladesh, lashed four fours and one six in his 131-ball innings. Rampaul’s spell included the prized wicket of Nkrumah Bonner for 20. Bonner was the player of the series for West Indies in the two-match Test series against Bangladesh.
Rampaul ended with impressive figures of 4/29 in ten overs and fellow fast bowler Anderson Phillip took 2/41 in seven overs.
JAMAICA SCORPIONS 255/7 (50 overs) (John Campbell 88, Brandon King 58, Andre McCarthy 35; Ravi Rampaul 4/29, Anderson Phillip 2/41) vs TT RED FORCE 256/4 (42.1 overs) (Lendl Simmons 68, Nicholas Pooran 54 not out, Jason Mohammed 41; Odean Smith 2/54) RED FORCE won by six wickets