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Hard road ahead for Barbados T20 team

Barbados have a mountain to climb when the Caribbean Twenty20 Cricket Championship resumes tomorrow.

While Trinidad & Tobago’s juggernaut will be in action tomorrow against the Windward Islands, Barbados will have the opportunity to watch their South Caribbean neighbours before doing battle against them the following day.

After opening the tournament with victories against the Leeward Islands and Jamaica, Barbados were beaten by Guyana and the Combined Campuses and Colleges. While the Tino Best-led attack has performed splendidly, Barbados’ batting has been abysmal in the extreme with three figures proving a problematic target to reach. They will be hoping that a change in conditions in St. Lucia will result in a change to their fortunes.

Barbados’ batting has exemplified the poor showing in the tournament with only Trinidad and Tobago – with T20 stars Lendl Simmons, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard in their line-up – demonstrating any batting consistency.

For Barbados captain Dwayne Smith, the experienced Ryan Hinds, and the talented Jonathan Carter have been disappointments, while the presence of Shamarh Brooks in the squad continues to baffle.

The Trinidadians have played unbeaten to record three wins and a no-result due to a wash-out, and are presently on 13 points. Jamaica are in second spot on the table on nine points from four matches. There is a three-way tie for third place with Barbados, Windward Islands and Guyana all on eight points. However, Windward Islands and Guyana have both played three matches while Barbados have played four games. Combined Campuses and Colleges are in sixth place on four points from four matches. The Leeward Islands have lost all four matches so far and are yet to register a point.

Under the new tournament format, the team which tops the preliminary round will advance to the grand final on January 20 at the Beausejour Cricket Ground. The second and third placed teams will meet in the play-off on January 19. The winner of the play-off will advance to the final.

The leading batsman in the tournament so far is the left-handed Bravo with 164 runs at an average of 82 and a strike rate of 149.09. He has a top-score of 82 made against Guyana on Saturday night. Best is the leading wicket-taker with 10 wickets in four matches at 7.30 runs per wicket. He had the impressive figures of 4 for 26 in the win against the Leeward Islands and then captured a career-best 4-19 in the loss to CCC.

Two bowlers, Barbados-born CCC representative Raymon Reifer, and his team-mate the Trinidad and Tobago-born Derone Davis, have both taken hat-tricks in the competition. Reifer captured his against Guyana, while Barbados were on the receiving end of Davis’ strikes.†††

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