(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — Man-of-the-Match Darren Bravo and Jeremy Solozano scored brilliant unbeaten centuries to steer the T&T Red Force to a comprehensive eight-wicket victory over the Windward Islands Volcanoes in their opening Colonial Medical Insurance Super-50 matchup at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port-of-Spain, on Thursday night.
Bravo hit 115 not out, while opener Solozano almost matched him with 102 as the Red Force cruised to their 239 target in just 33.2 overs.
Bravo’s knock lasted 146 minutes, came off 127 balls and included five fours and eight sixes, as he and Solozano, who hit nine fours and two sixes off 118 balls, hit the Volcanoes bowlers to all parts of the Oval after they had gotten the Red Force openers cheaply and felt they were in with a chance to topple the home side.
After spinner Shane Shillingford dismissed opener Tion Webster for just five and Kyle Hope (5) followed him back in the pavilion with just 13 runs on the board, Bravo and Solozano shared in an unbroken partnership of 226 runs which new skipper Imran Khan his first victory.
Earlier, half-centuries from batsmen Kaveem Hodge and Desron Maloney ensured that the Volcanoes got to a respectable total after they fell away following a good start, in which they were 108-1 after 27 overs.
Although they didn’t lose many wickets early, the Windwards scored slowly and when they decided to accelerate towards the end they lost wickets in clusters.
Maloney fell to part-time spinner Jason Mohammed for 56 off 81 balls, including five fours and this sparked a Red Force revival. Yannick Ottley followed with the scalp of Hodge for 57 off 103 deliveries and T&T took a grip afterwards.
Skipper Imran Khan took 2-28 off 10 overs and Ottley 2-34, also off 10, to stifle the visitors. They used the slow nature of the Oval track to good effect and their combined 20 overs yielded only 62 runs for the loss of four wickets.