Lord’s six hands T&T Women’s T20 title
By Avenash Ramzan
In the words of skipper Merissa Augilliera, Shenelle Lord was supposed to open the batting against Jamaica in the final of the WICB Regional Women’s T20 competition on Monday night at Providence.
They decided against it, and it proved a master stroke as Lord it was who bailed Trinidad and Tobago out of a bleak situation and handed the twin-island republic the title in a thrilling finale.
In a low-scoring affair, Trinidad and Tobago needed 101 to lift the trophy and complete the double, after they also won the 50-over competition last week, but they seemed down and out at 81-7 with 20 required off the final 12 balls.
They managed to reduce the equation to 11 from six deliveries with two wickets in hand. With five runs coming from the first three balls of the final over, it was down to six from three, and Lord fought fire with fire, moving down the track and depositing Vanessa Watts over the rope at long-on for six.
Lord immediately sprinted off in wild celebrations, while her teammates stormed the field to soak in the excitement of a title win. The Stafanie Taylor-led Jamaican side stood around dejected, and were left to contemplate what could have been.
Rewind to 40 minutes earlier, and they were right in the game, as wickets fell at regular intervals. Three wickets inside the Powerplay meant Trinidad and Tobago did not have the best of starts and they struggled to gain momentum, as 38-4 at the end of 10 would attest.
At 39-5 in the 11th over, it was going downhill for Trinidad and Tobago, before Augilliera and Anisa Mohammed propped up the innings with a solid partnership of 39 in six overs.
With both players growing in confidence, Trinidad and Tobago were now cruising to victory, but the dismissal of both Augilliera (26) and Mohammed (21) in the 18th over bowled by Taylor threw the game wide open.
With two new batters at the crease, Jamaica had seized the advantage, but Lord had other ideas and she exemplified the phrase “snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.”
She was probably confident of achieving the feat, given her fine performance with the ball earlier. She claimed 2-23 and in tandem with Mohammed (2-15) kept a stranglehold on proceedings.
Winning the toss and electing to bat, the Jamaicans slipped to 40-6 by the 13th over, with skipper and the world’s number one ranked female T20 batter, Taylor, falling cheaply for seven.
It took a partnership of 55 from 7.3 overs between Tameka Sanford and Chinelle Henry to save the Jamaicans from total embarrassment. Sanford led the way with 33 (24 balls, 2x4s), while Henry made a run-a-ball 25 (2x4s).
Earlier in the day, Barbados whipped the Windward Islands by nine wickets to win the third place playoff, while Guyana outplayed the Leeward Islands by 96 runs to win the fifth place playoff.
Player-of-the-Match: Anisa Mohammed (2-15 and 21 runs)
Highest Individual Score: 70 by Shemaine Campbelle (Guy)
Most runs: 182 by Shemaine Campbelle (Guy)
Most wickets: 9 by Anisa Mohammed (T&T), Shanel Daley (Jam) and Erva Giddings (Guy)
Most dismissals: 5 by Merissa Augilliera (T&T) and Tameka Sanford (Jam)
Most Valuable Player: Stafanie Taylor of Jamaica (172 runs and 4 wickets)
Cover photo caption: Members of the Trinidad and Tobago side in a jubilant mood on Monday night at Providence (Photos by Avenash Ramzan)