It may be getting a little repetitive, but Daren Ganga says it every time he’s asked about his team being under pressure. “We came here to play six finals.” They have won five on the trot. Now, the real one beckons.
Ganga and Dwayne Bravo, who made for their poor day with the ball with an outstanding innings, knocked off the winning runs as Trinidad and Tobago beat Cape Cobras by seven wickets in the second semi-final at the Uppal stadium. They will face New South Wales Blues in the final on Friday.
There were moments in the match, while fielding and when batting, when the exciting run of T&T looked under threat. But the belief never wavered.
After a flashy start by Adrian Barath (29 off 16), T&T lost three quick wickets. And with the Cobras’ shuffling their three spinners intelligently, Ganga and Bravo were restricted to taking singles. But the duo was not likely to give up. Chasing a target of 176, T&T finished at 178 for three from 19.2 overs, making it look all too simple in the end.
Bravo scored 58 not out off 34 with the help of four fours and three sixes, while Ganga, the more subdued of the two, remained unbeaten on 44 off 31. South African teams are famous for their fielding. But the Cobras were sloppy. They dropped three catches and even the golden arm of Jean-Paul Duminy couldn’t do the trick for them.
The left-hander came up with an all-round performance, first scoring 61 off 40 and then stemming the T&T run-flow.
In the Cape Cobras innings, every time they threatened to push too far, T&T pulled them back. Herschelle Gibbs and Duminy were expected to snare the nastiest. And they did. Gibbs, who had just one run to his name in three matches previously, smacked 42 off 27 while Duminy, the highest scorer of the tournament, finished unbeaten on 61.
The star of the day for T&T was Lendl Simmons. The medium pacer ended with 17 for two in three overs.