Lendl Simmons played the innings that makes dreams come true as he provided the perfect platform for Trinidad and Tobago Red Force to outplay Guyana Jaguars in the final of the CG Insurance Super50. On a warm and calm Saturday night, captain Kieron Pollard had the honour of lifting the Sir Clive Lloyd trophy as his team accomplished the stated mission and showcased their dominance – winning all seven matches.
Simmons made a monumental 146 as the Red Force made a whopping 362-5 of their 50 overs. He hit 15 fours and seven sixes off 145 balls to register the highest score of this year’s tournament, as well as the highest score by a Trinidadian in the 46 years of the event – surpassing the 134 made by Denesh Ramdin in 2013. It was his second century of this year’s tournament and lifted the Trinis to their second highest score of all time. He was named the CG Insurance Man-of-the-Match.
Such heroics left the Jaguars with a mammoth target and they fell well short, being bowled out for 210 off 43.5 overs. Left-hander Raymon Reifer played brilliantly to end on 97 not out, to follow up his 90 in the semi-final against the Windwards Volcanoes on Thursday night. Fast bowler Ravi Rampaul was again on song with 4-52 off his 10 overs – his second four-for in as many matches and took him to his 100th List A wicket for Trinidad and Tobago.
Jayden Seales, the 19-year-old pacer brought into the match specifically unsettle the Guyanesse, bowled with sustained pace and hostility to end with three wickets – two of which were caught in the leg-side as batsmen attempted hook shots.
Captain Pollard was full of praise for his team and said they were delighted to win all seven matches and take the title.
“We came, we saw, we overcame adversity and we conquered. This is what we came here for … tonight we demonstrated our strength in the batting and the bowling. Simmons gave us the perfect start and batted deep to make sure we got well over 300. That was a fantastic knock in a final,” Pollard said.
“Then Rampaul again showed how good a bowler he is. Young Jaden Seales was exciting and answered the call. We left out two very good spinners and brought him in because we had a game-plan. He stuck to the plan and it worked to perfection. This was a great match for us and finished off a fantastic tournament.”
When Trinidad and Tobago batted Simmons shared several big partnerships. He added 121 in just 19.1 overs with Evin Lewis (57) and 100 with Darren Bravo (47). After they fell Simmons shared a third-wicket of 57 in four overs with Nicholas Pooran who entertained with 39 off 15 balls including four sixes.
In Guyana Jaguars turn at the crease they were totally blown away by Rampaul and Seales and were tottering at 55-6 at the end of the powerplay. Reifer launched a rearguard as he faced 112 balls and hit seven fours and three sixes. He shared a ninth wicket stand of 71 with Gudakesh Motie (28) which took the score over the 200-mark.
But he was left just short of his maiden century when he exposed last man Nial Smith to a rampaging Seales who cleaned him up with the perfect yorker which capped off the perfect match in a perfect campaign.