PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO – Sulieman Benn laid the foundation and Kraigg Brathwaite formalized the result as Barbados Pride brushed aside Windward Islands Volcanoes by seven wickets here Thursday to set up a meeting with Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the final of the Regional Super50.
Playing in the second semi-final at Queen’s Park Oval, Pride bundled out Volcanoes for a below par 175 off 45.4 overs with Man-of-the-Match left-arm spinner Benn grabbing four for 26 from his ten overs.
Left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican (2-30), seamer Carlos Brathwaite (2-41) and off-spinner Ashley Nurse (2-42) all weighed in with two wickets each.
Opener Devon Smith top-scored with 44 while both Sunil Ambris and Tyrone Theophile got 31 but Volcanoes lost wickets in clusters as the innings faltered in the middle stages.
Pride then cruised to their target with 33 balls remaining, with opener Brathwaite stroking an unbeaten 80 and middle order batsman Shamarh Brooks, 33 not out.
They endured a shock start when Dwayne Smith was lbw to seamer Mervin Matthew to the first ball of the innings but Kraigg Brathwaite anchored two pivotal partnerships, adding 45 for the second wicket with Shai Hope who scored 28 and a further 96 with Brooks in an unbroken fourth wicket stand.
In Saturday’s final at the same venue, Pride will now face Red Force who beat Guyana Jaguars by 54 runs in Wednesday’s first semi.
That berth in the final seemed uncertain when Matthew knocked over Smith to leave Pride struggling on 14 for one at the break.
On resumption, however, Brathwaite and Hope rebuilt the innings, to reclaim the advantage. Brathwaite faced 120 balls and counted nine fours while Hope struck five fours in a 48-ball knock.
The partnership was growing in stature when Hope nicked fellow seamer Kyle Mayers behind in the 14th over.
Left-hander Jonathan Carter, who struck 28 off 38 deliveries with two fours, joined Brathwaite to post 38 for the third wicket.
Captain Liam Sebastien got the breakthrough in his third over, the 22nd of the innings when he induced Carter into a tame return catch leaving Pride on 83 for three.
Any thoughts of an upset win were then squashed as Brooks and Brathwaite dominated the Volcanoes bowling to take Pride over the line.
The right-handed Brooks faced 60 balls and counted two fours but it was Brathwaite who appropriately struck the winning runs when he whipped a full toss from leg-spinner Kerron Cottoy to the mid-wicket boundary.
Earlier, Volcanoes wasted a 74-run, second wicket stand between Smith and Theophile, which pulled the innings around after it slipped to two for one after just eight balls, when Johnson Charles tugged Nurse to Warrican at wide mid-on to depart without scoring.
The left-handed Smith struck five fours and a six off 58 balls and Theophile counted four fours in a 60-ball knock, as they revived the innings in an entertaining stand.
Smith lost concentration and fell to the first ball after the first drinks break when he edged behind off Benn, triggering a slide which saw Volcanoes lose four wickets for 19 runs and slump to 95 for five in the 26th over.
Benn had Theophile caught by Nurse at slip edging a cut, gained an lbw decision against Andre Fletcher (0) though replays showed an inside edge and had captain Liam Sebastien caught at the wicket also cutting for one.
Ambris added 26 for the sixth wicket with Kyle Mayers who made a purposeful 26 off 53 balls with three fours and a six, as Volcanoes attempted a fightback.
But just when he seemed set, the right-handed Ambris picked out Jason Holder at short mid-wicket off Warrican who then claimed Shane Shillingford next ball to find himself on a hat-trick at 121 for seven in the 35th over.
Cottoy survived the hat-trick delivery but fell for four in the following over, caught and bowled by Nurse with just five runs added.
Mayers carried the fight, striking a few lusty blows before holing out in the deep off Carlos Brathwaite, as the innings sputtered to an end.
VOLCANOES 175 all out off 45.4 overs (Devon Smith 44, Sunil Ambris 31, Tyrone Theophile 31, Kyle Mayers 26; Sulieman Benn 4-26, Jomel Warrican 2-30, Carlos Brathwaite 2-41, Ashley Nurse 2-42)
PRIDE 179 for three off 44.3 overs (Kraigg Brathwaite 80 not out, Shamarh Brooks 33 not out, Jonathan Carter 28, Shai Hope 28)
J Charles c Brooks b Nurse 0
D Smith c wkp Dowrich b Benn 44
T Theophile c Nurse b Benn 31
S Ambris c Holder b Warrican 31
+A Fletcher lbw b Benn 2
*L Sebastien c wkp Dowrich b Benn 1
K Mayers c Nurse b C Brathwaite 26
S Shillingford lbw b Warrican 0
K Cottoy c & b Nurse 4
M Matthew b C Brathwaite 14
D Johnson not out 18
Extras (lb1, w3) 4
TOTAL (all out, 45.4 overs) 175
Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-76, 3-81, 4-87, 5-95, 6-121, 7-121, 8-126, 9-151, 10-175.
Bowling: Holder 7-0-35-0, Nurse 10-2-42-2, C Brathwaite 8.4-0-41-2, Benn 10-0-26-4, Warrican 10-2-30-2.
D Smith lbw b Matthew 0
K Brathwaite not out 80
S Hope c wkp Fletcher b Mayers 28
J Carter c & b Sebastien 28
S Brooks not out 33
Extras (b1, lb1, w8) 10
TOTAL (3 wkts, 44.3 overs) 179
Did not bat: +S Dowrich, *J Holder, C Brathwaite, A Nurse, J Warrican, S Benn.
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-45, 3-83.
Bowling: Matthew 7-1-30-1, Johnson 6-0-26-0, Mayers 4-0-17-1, Cottoy 7.3-0-47-0, Sebastien 10-0-34-1, Shillingford 10-0-23-0.
Result: Pride won by seven wickets.
Series: Pride advanced to Super50 final.
Man-of-the-Match: Sulieman Benn.
Umpires: Peter Nero, Joel Wilson; TV – Patrick Gustard.