Trinidad & Tobago are the Stanford 20/20 champions having crushed tournament favourites Jamaica by nine wickets.
The final at the Stanford Cricket Ground in Antigua on Sunday night was so one-sided that it was an anti-climax after the two pulsating semis which weren’t concluded until the final overs.
In contrast, Jamaica could only manage 91 all out in 16.4 overs. The Trinis, captained by Daren Ganga, raced to 94 for 1 and secured the Stanford US$1m jackpot in 9.2 overs. Jamaica, led by West Indies skipper Chris Gayle, earned $500,000. Trinidad were bitterly disappointed losers in the final in the inaugural Stanford tournament in 2006. They lost to Guyana in the last over and were determined to go one better this time.
Requiring a mere 4.55 runs per over, Trinidad & Tobago lost Denesh Ramdin early at 14 for one. However, that bought to the crease the dangerous combination of William Perkins and Lendl Simmons, who put on an unbroken 74 runs for the second wicket. They kept the run rate above 10 runs throughout, but it was Perkins who dictated the pace. He was the more aggressive, especially against pacer Daren Powell and spinner Marlon Samuels.
Perkins ended unbeaten on 50, which came off just 33 balls and was laced with six fours and a six. Simmons, who hit Samuels over long-on for a six to win, got 26 with four fours and a six.
Trinidad’s Dave Mohammed ended with 4-20 and was named Man-of-the-Match and earned $100,000. Dwayne Bravo collected the Play-of-the-Day $25,000 in running out Bernard.
Trinidad cricket lovers congregated at Singh’s Roti shop in George Town to enjoy the match. There were as many Jamaicans as Trinis but it was the Trinis who went home happy. One of them was Cayman Islands cricket’s technical director, Theo Cuffy. He has lived here for 12 years but is still a Trini to the bone. ‘I predicted a Trinidad win and it wasn’t even close,’ he beamed. ‘They dominated the match, including getting the Play-of-the-Day and Man-of-the-Match.’
Another ecstatic Trinidad fan was Andrew Premdass. He was sorry to see Jamaica beat defending champs Guyana as he is half Trini and half Guyanese, but at least the Trini side of him was able to celebrate. ‘I love cricket and was really upset at how Guyana played against Jamaica, but I’m also Trini to the bone,’ he said.
‘Jamaica’s 91 runs was not difficult. A blind man can get that. It was never enough in the final. Trini really deserved it this time because they missed it last time.’