Pierre fires Red Force to come-from-behind win

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ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC) – Reigning champions Trinidad and Tobago Red Force ended Leeward Islands Hurricanes’ unbeaten streak in the Regional Super50 when they inflicted a narrow 11-run defeat here Thursday.
Novice left-arm spinner Khary Pierre, playing in only his second Super50 match, proved the hero for Red Force as he snatched a four wicket haul to engineer the collapse of the Hurricanes in their pursuit of 227 for victory at Coolidge Cricket Ground.
The hosts were in cruise control at 115 without loss in the 27th over behind half-centuries from Montcin Hodge, who made a career-best 82 and captain Kieran Powell, who stroked 52.
But with the game running away from Red Force, Pierre drew down Powell and had him stumped, and then accounted for Nkrumah Bonner (5) and Test star Marlon Samuels (9) cheaply.
Even then, Hurricanes still held the upper hand at 162 for three in the 38th over but veteran seamer Rayad Emrit struck key blows to finish with three for 49, as the last seven wickets tumbled for 53 runs to leave Hurricanes 215 all out with eight balls remaining.
Fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, ineffective up front, returned to finish with two for 32.
Red Force had earlier disappointed after being sent in, mustering only 226 for nine off their 50 overs.
Another rookie Nicholas Alexis bailed them out with an even fifty while the dependable all-rounder Imran Khan provided the late flourish with an unbeaten 45.
Opener Kjorn Ottley struck 34 and Jason Mohammed weighed in with 32.
Left-arm spinner Jason Campbell was outstanding in taking a career-best five for 37 from 10 overs while Test pacer Alzarri Joseph proved expensive in picking up two for 65.
Red Force started shakily when they lost Kyle Hope cheaply for two in the seventh over, brilliantly caught in front of first slip by wicketkeeper Jahmar Hamilton off Joseph with the score on eight.
However, Alexis then helped repair the innings in two successive half-century stands, adding 62 for the second wicket with Ottley and 56 for the third with Mohammed.
The right-handed Alexis faced 83 deliveries and struck four fours and a six.
Nkrumah Bonner prised out Mohammed to a catch at the wicket, triggering a slide which saw four wickets fall for 25 runs, to leave Red Force struggling on 151 for six in the 39th over.
Imran Khan then arrived to lash three fours and a six in a breezy 45-ball effort, posting 42 for the seventh wicket with Emrit (21), to help energise the innings late on.
In reply, Hodge and Powell appeared to take the game away from Red Force when they dominated the first half of the innings with their century stand.
The right-handed Hodge faced 126 balls and struck seven fours and two sixes as he eased to his second successive half-century while the left-handed Powell carved out five fours and a six in a 70-ball innings, to extend his rich vein of form.
With the innings, Powell passed the 300-run mark and now has 323 runs from four outings.
However, it was his dismissal, which gave Red Force the precious breakthrough they needed, when he charged Pierre, missed his swing and was stumped.
Bonner then needlessly holed out to long off in the 31st over at 131 for two and 21 balls later, Samuels also perished in the deep to a big shot off Pierre.
Hurricanes remained unshaken with Hodge still at the wicket but once he nicked Emrit’s out-swinger behind to Denesh Ramdin, the innings quickly unraveled.

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