Canadian Dave Roberts, unfamiliar with the game of cricket before joining TNT this season, notched his side’s top score with a well-deserved 25, despite his unorthodox hybrid baseball stance.
It couldn’t rescue TNT though, as they fell 73 runs short in reply to Laguna’s 227.
Despite setting an attacking field, the TNT bowlers couldn’t get the tight start they wanted, with openers Barry Buck and Roshan Jayasuriya conceding 25 runs off the first four overs, 11 of which came from the sundries column.
Jayasuriya did manage to get the breakthrough in the sixth over though against the run of play, cleaning up the stumps of Bill Stahmer (21).
The wicket slowed the Laguna run rate considerably, but Darren Shaw (76) and Andrew Cole (30) went about building a solid partnership that carried their side through to 127-1 before Cole was caught off Giles Leonard, who was playing his first game of cricket after a 19 year absence.
Sameer Khan came to the middle and helped lift the run rate with 35 off 34, while Val Guirard improved his season average, unbeaten on one off just a single delivery.
Paul Lattimore was the best of the bowlers on paper with 31-2 off eight overs, though Sid Prahbu bowled exceptionally well and was unfortunate not to pick up a wicket as he finished 28-0 off eight.
With an asking run rate of just under six an over, TNT knew they were in with a chance if they could see off the pinpoint pace bowling of Sami Ullah and Val Guirard.
Roshan Jayasuriyah (19) and Dane Halpin (10) made a watchful start, reaching 26 without loss until a calling mixup and a brilliant throw from Bruce Whitehead at mid off found Halpin inches short of his ground at the keeper’s end.
Sid Prabhu (18), Paul Lattimore (11), Gary Carrick (12) and Simon Samaan (14) all reached double figures, but TNT were unable to find the big partnership required to get them in reach of Laguna’s total. The skills of the big hitting Ryan Jon, who returned to Australia last month, were missed.
The Canadian Dave Roberts obviously wasn’t too concerned about the predicament when he entered at 110-8, putting his teammates to shame by blasting 25 off 25, including four boundaries.
It was a brilliant consolation effort for Roberts, who had been one of the most committed TNT players this season but had struggled to find his feet in the unfamiliar game of cricket.
With the last three overs played in torrential rain, TNT were eventually dismissed for 154 off 32.5 overs. The wickets were shared for Laguna, with Ullah, Whitehead, Lijo Jose and man of the match Sameer Khan each picking up two.