CENTRAL registered their third straight win, in Group B, of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) National Inter-Zone 50 over tournament yesterday.
In a top-of-the-table match-up against East, at Gilbert Park in California, Central cruised to a 60-run victory.
In the other Group B match yesterday, South West whipped North East by eight wickets, at the Inshan Ali Cricket Ground, Preysal.
But there was drama which played out in Group A as North and South East joined Central and East in the semi-final round, which will be contested at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Tarouba this coming weekend (Saturday and Sunday).
North hammered the previously unbeaten South by nine wickets at Tarouba, while South East earned a four-wicket victory over the win-less Tobago at the National Cricket Centre, Balmain, Couva – the venue for the May 26 final.
At Gilbert Park, Central, who were sent in to bat, posted a score of 235 all out in 45.1 overs. Veteran TT Red Force all-rounder Imran Khan made a crucial 50, off 43 balls, with five fours and three sixes, while Saiba Batoosingh made 38. There were other useful scores from Kjorn Ottley (33), Mark Deyal (32) and Red Force, and Central captain, Denesh Ramdin (22).
East’s skipper, West Indies T20 pace bowler Rayad Emrit, collected six wickets for 27 runs while fellow pacer Uthman Muhammad took 2/37.
In reply, the East batsmen were undone by the spin trio of Deyal (4/36 with his off-spin), Khan (3/35 with his leg-breaks) and Derone Davis (2/42 with his left-arm spin) as they were bowled out for 175 with five overs remaining. Opening batsman Jeremy Solozano (45) and Emrit (40) produced the only pair of noteworthy scores.
In the virtual ‘dead rubber’, at Preysal, early morning showers forced the officials to reduce the game to a 44-over-per-side affair.
North East, who batted first after winning the toss, were dismissed for 178 in 42.4 overs. Opener Brandon Ramdial topscored with 78 while ex-TT Red Force captain Marlon Richards contributed 51. Roshan Parag got 3/34 for South West, while Sean Siloch took 2/12 and Duane Charles had 2/43.
A downpour, during the luncheon interval, meant that South West were set a revised target of 163 in 40 overs.
Courtesy of a 104-run opening stand, in 16.4 overs, between Adrian Ali (50) and Gabriel Blackwell (45), South West responded with 163/2 in 30 overs. Nicholas Sookdeosingh (28) and Siloch (15) were the not out batsmen.
North produced a total team effort to eliminate South, in their Group A encounter at Tarouba.
In a rain-interrupted affair, South, who were sent in to bat, were bundled out for 143 in 38.4 overs. Medium-pacer Tion Webster took 4/23 while Rishaad Harris had 3/28 and Akeal Hosein 2/23 for North, while South relied on a patient 46 from 84 balls from Jyd Goolie, with Daneil Williams chipping in with 34. Joshua Da Silva slammed an unbeaten 79 (61 balls, eight fours and two sixes) while Mario Belcon made 44 (39 balls, six fours) as North replied with 144/1 off 21 overs.
At Balmain, South East, who decided to bowl first, dismissed Tobago for 172 in 48.2 overs. Joshua James led the scoring with 44 while Kelon Lynch had 39 and C Vincent 30. Sharing the wickets for South East were Akeil Cooper (3/18), Vikash Rampersad (3/25) and Adrian Cooper (3/37).
South East relied on a match-winning 50 from Stephen Katwaroo (40 balls, six fours and a six), while Jeron Maniram had 43 (44 balls, five fours) and Cephas Cooper made 31 (28 balls, three fours and a six) as they reached 176/6 in 31.5 overs, Vincent got 4/35 for the Tobago outfit.