A marathon players’ strike may have held cricket to ransom in the West Indies, but it was England's Somerset County Cricket Club (SCC) who failed to turn up for duty as they crumbled for 106 against a young Trinidad&Tobago side.
Chasing a moderate 150 the county side fell short by 44 runs allowing the Trinidad team a thrilling victory in their maiden Champions League tie.
Trinidad skipper Darren Ganga's tryst with Lady luck began with the toss, and, despite a jittery performance with the bat, the team came back strong with the ball.
Dwayne Bravo, who was out for a first-ball duck, scalped four wickets — Marcus Trescothick and Craig Kieswetter being the two dangermen to fall prey to him.
Bravo teased Trescothick with a ball that shaped away from the Somerset opener, kissing his willow on the way. Left-arm spinner Dave Mohammed picked up 2 for 18 from 4 overs. Barring Zander de Bruyn (43 not out) and skipper Justin Langer (15), none of the Somerset batsmen could reach double-digits.
Batting first, the Trinidad batsmen were off to a flier, but were guilty of wanton strokeplay. Openers Lendl Simmons and William Perkins teed off early and it seemed all hell had broken loose on the county side.
Somerset’s new ball bowlers, Charl Willoughby and Alfonso Thomas, failed to stamp an early authority, with Simmons devising inventive ways of finding the fence. He set the tone with an elegant forward push off Willoughby for four in the first over.
Thomas’s last-match heroics nearly paled into insignificance when Simmons sent him screaming over extra cover for four. Ben Phillips broke the partnership when Simmons flapped loosely at a short ball to deposit a catch at third man. Perkins followed his partner when Willoughby rattled his timbers in the sixth over.
Darren Bravo announced his arrival with a towering six over long off, but Willoughby pulled off an incredible return catch to send the danger man back. But the biggest disappointment was Dwayne Bravo's first-ball duck. Somerset's Max Waller tossed one up outside off and Bravo gleefully chased it to offer an easy catch at short third man.
Skipper Darren Ganga tried to anchor the innings and even struck a four and a six in his 18-ball stay at the wicket. And after his wicket, it was Denesh Ramdin's a run-a-ball 39 that helped to post 150-run target.
Trinidad & Tobago
Simmons c Thomas b Phillips 22, Perkins b Willoughby 20, Darren Bravo c & b Willoughby 9, D Ganga b Waller 23, Dwayne Bravo c Suppiah b Waller 0, Ramdin b Thomas 39, Pollard c Suppiah b Willoughby 12, Rampaul b Thomas 2, S Ganga not out 18, Mohammed run out 0, Badree not out 1
Extras (w-4) 4
Total (9 wkts; 20 overs) 150
Fall of wkts: 1-43, 2-49, 3-59, 4-60, 5-90, 6-121, 7-128, 8-149, 9-149.
Bowling: Willoughby 4-0-35- 3, Thomas 4-0-26-2, Phillips 4-0-43-1, Waller 4-0-27-2, Suppiah 4-0-19-0 .
Trescothick c Ramdin b Dwayne Bravo 3, Langer c Perkins b S Ganga 15, Kieswetter c Darren Bravo b Dwayne Bravo 4, de Bruyn not out 43, Suppiah b Mohammed 6, Trego c Darren Bravo b Mohammed 6, Hildreth run out 0, Phillips c Simmons b S Ganga 5, Thomas run out 9, Waller b Dwayne Bravo 1, Willoughby b Dwayne Bravo 0
Extras (lb-7, w-7) 14
Total (in 20 overs) 106
Fall of wkts: 1-13, 2-26, 3-28, 4-52, 5-69, 6-69, 7-74, 8-96, 9-106.
Bowling: Rampaul 3-0-14-0, Dwayne Bravo 4-0-23-4, Badree 4-0-20-0, S Ganga 3-0-16-2, Mohammed 4-0-18-2, Pollard 2-0-8-0