SUPER50 LEAD Pollard, Mohammed power Red Force as Pride lose again

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Jason Mohammed celebrates his hundred against Barbados Pride on Monday. (Photo courtesy CWI Media)

BROOKLYN,NY – Captain Kieron Pollard undermined Barbados Pride with a devastating maiden five-wicket haul, and veteran Jason Mohammed followed up with his sixth List A hundred to power Trinidad and Tobago Red Force to a three-wicket win in the Regional Super50 Cup here Monday.

Chasing an uncomplicated 254 at Coolidge Cricket Ground, Red Force overhauled their target with five balls to spare, with the right-handed Mohammed top-scoring with 122 off 161 deliveries.

Opener Evin Lewis extended his purple patch of form with 61 off 46 deliveries, but no other batsman reached double figures as Red Force, cruising on 121 for one in the 21st over, lost four wickets for 37 runs in quick time to decline to 158 for five in the 32nd over.

However, Mohammed kept his cool, punching 10 fours and three sixes to marshal the lower order before falling to the penultimate’s final delivery over with just two runs needed for victory, whipping pacer Jason Holder to Roston Chase at mid-on.

Sent in earlier, Pride finished on 253 for nine thanks to opener Justin Greaves’s top score of 62 off 81 balls and 56 apiece from Jonathan Carter and Chase.

On 200 for three at the end of the 42nd over, Pride appeared well placed to post a large total, but Pollard scythed through the innings in a destructive three-over spell of five for 17 as six wickets tumbled for 44 runs off 41 deliveries.

Red Force’s victory was their third straight, keeping them unbeaten, but Pollard said there would be no let-up in intensity.

“Cricket is a funny game, so it’s not a matter of easing off. Every time we get an opportunity to play cricket, you want to do your best, you want to improve, and you want to win,” Pollard stressed afterward.

“Winning is a habit, losing is a habit, so for us, we just want to continue playing good cricket and trying to get that four points, so no stepping off the gas.”

In contrast, the defeat was the third on Pride’s bounce, leaving them bottom of the standings with two games left in the preliminary phase.

However, a frustrated captain Jason Holder said they were still holding out hope of a strong finish to the campaign.

“There are still two games to play [so] you never know. You never know how the tournament may go,” the all-rounder said.

“Quite a few teams are jumbled at the very bottom as well, so we’ve got to win those last two games to give ourselves the best chance.”

Seeking to halt their losing slide, Pride started strongly, with Greaves posting 44 for the first wicket with Zachary McCaskie (16) and a further 42 for the second wicket Shamarh Brooks (20).

Greaves was third out after counting half-dozen fours and a six, caught at the wicket off seamer Ravi Rampaul, but Carter and Chase combined in a 103-run fourth-wicket stand to rebuild the innings.

Left-hander Carter struck three fours and six off 70 balls while Chase scored faster, hitting five fours and a six off just 57 deliveries.

Left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein (2-44) broke the stand when he got Carter to hole out too long-on at the end of the 43rd over, and Pollard claimed Chase after the right-hander added 32 with Holder (18), taken at wide long-on by Nicholas Pooran dashing around the ropes at 241 for five in the 48th over.

Off the next legal delivery, Holder scooped Pollard to wide mid-on before Dominic Drakes steered his first delivery to backward point to give the Windies white-ball skipper his third wicket of the over, as the innings slumped.

In reply, Red Force lost Kjorn Ottley cheaply for four in the second over, lbw to left-arm seamer Drakes (2-47), before Mohammed and Lewis dominated, adding 117 for the second wicket.

Red Force was cantering when Lewis, who struck three fours and half-dozen sixes, top-edged a sweep at off-spinner Chase (3-21) and was taken at the backward square in the 21st over.

Mohammed and Denesh Ramdin (10) put on 29 for the third wicket, but Chase removed both Ramdin and Pooran (0) in the 29th over, and when Pollard sparred at a short ball from Drakes and lobbed a simple catch to point in the 32nd above, Red Force was floundering.

However, Mohammed calmed the storm, adding 49 for the sixth wicket with Sunil Narine (18) and 45 for the seventh with Hosein (16 not out), to frustrate Pride’s victory bid.

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