Port-of-Spain, Trinidad – Chadwick Walton set a new record for the highest score in Caribbean T20, but ended up on the losing end as Guyana beat Combined Campuses and Colleges in a thrilling finish on Monday night.
The Jamaican-born opener, plundered 99 not out off just 64 balls as CCC rallied to 159-3 off 20 overs at Queen’s Park Oval. He blasted four huge sixes in the last over off Verasammy Permaul – which cost a whopping 28 runs. However, it was the running between the wickets during his second-wicket partnership of 58 with skipper Kyle Corbin which gave the innings real momentum before the flurry of boundaries at the end.
Walton’s score bettered the previous tournament highest of 89 by Danza Hyatt of Jamaica against Barbados at the same venue in July, 2010. But by the end of the night Walton was heartbroken as Guyana made 160-8 to win off the last ball. Left-arm seamer Ramon Reifer took the third hat-trick in the tournament’s history and first for CCC, but he was topped by a match-winning 57 off 40 balls from Narsingh Deonarine.
“Is there anything to feel good about?” Walton asked after he collected his Man-of-the-Match award. “Cricket is a team game and even though I set a new record and got this award, it still hurts that the team lost. I guess a few guys lost their nerve there at the end and things slipped out of our hands. We let the match slip away from us.”
“Every batsman loves to reach three figures, but I really didn’t mind the fact that I didn’t get the hundred. I felt I played really well for the team and put us in a winning position. On another day it might have been a match-winning knock…this game can change so quickly,” added the 27-year-old wicket-keeper.
“In the first half [of the innings] I worked really hard to hit the gaps and turn ones into twos and turn twos into threes. This is something we worked really hard on in the build up to this tournament. In the final overs I just looked to clear the ropes and it worked well. I felt I built a really good innings and I paced it quite well.”
The drama unfolded in the final over from fast bowler Jason Holder which yielded 13 runs. The penultimate ball was a no ball and Permaul launched the “free hit” over the rope at deep square leg. With one run required off the last ball Devendra Bishoo dived home at the striker’s end to secure the winning leg bye.
In 2011 Guyana also had a narrow win over CCC by two wickets with two balls left; while back in 2010 CCC lost another cliffhanger in the one-over eliminator to Barbados. Walton was watching from behind the stumps on all three occasions.
“Three out of three and we have lost all three,” he said with a wry smile. “Which one hurts the most? All three! We have to pull ourselves together and come out and give Trinidad and Tobago a real fight. We came close against Guyana, we can do it against Trinidad.”
CCC will be back in action at Queen’s Park Oval on Tuesday when they take on Trinidad and Tobago at 8 pm (7 pm Jamaica Time). Before that, Barbados face Jamaica at 4 pm (3 pm Jamaica Time).
FULL TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
(AT QUEEN’S PARK OVAL, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad)
Sunday, January 6
Trinidad & Tobago vs Jamaica – Match abandoned due to rain
Monday, January 7
Barbados beat Leeward Islands by 9 wickets
Guyana beat Combined Campuses & Colleges by 2 wickets
Tuesday, January 8
Jamaica vs Barbados – 4 p.m.
Trinidad & Tobago vs Combined Campuses & Colleges – 8 p.m.
Wednesday, January 9
Windward Islands vs Jamaica – 4 p.m.
Trinidad & Tobago vs Leeward Islands – 8 p.m.
Thursday, January 10
Combined Campuses & Colleges vs Windward Islands – 4 p.m.
Guyana vs Barbados – 8 p.m.
Friday, January 11
Leeward Islands vs Jamaica – 4 p.m.
Combined Campuses & Colleges vs Barbados – 8 p.m.
Saturday, January 12
Windward Islands vs Leeward Islands – 4 p.m.
Trinidad & Tobago vs Guyana – 8 p.m.