Listen to the Church’s voice
March 13, 2020
Memories of Fr Dermot
March 13, 2020

Revenge for T&T Red Force, Windies celebrate T20 wins

By Bryan Davis

former West Indies Test cricketer

The Trinidad & Tobago Red Force (RF) cricket team played a splendid bit of cricket to whip their archrivals Barbados March 5–8) at the Brian Lara Stadium at Tarouba.  It was sweet revenge for the painful licking inflicted on them in Barbados a few weeks ago. In that game the RF were completely embarrassed in the 2nd innings when they were bowled out for 77.

RF selectors, led by Tony Gray, made five changes to the team for this game. Kyle Hope and Cephas Cooper were chosen to open the batting, the latter making his first-class debut, plus the introduction of the promising Jyd Goolie who had already represented the West Indies under-19 team. The fit again Anderson Phillip and Imran Khan were welcome additions.

Khan was asked to be captain. He was the third skipper of the RF in just seven games because the original choice of Darren Bravo was taken away by West Indies (WI) to tour Sri Lanka for a 50-over tournament.

Then there was Yannick Ottley, the young all-rounder who unfortunately broke down in the previous game against the Leeward Islands. Those were the five selections, two of whom were returning from injury in addition to the two debutants.

I was worried. Five changes were a lot, especially when two of the batsmen were playing at this level for the first time; what is more, the experienced middle order batsman Jason Mohammed was not clicking.

And this was the powerful table toppers Pride they were up against, the same ones that made mincemeat of them in the first round in Barbados, winning by 251 runs, bowling T&T for 77 in the second innings.

Although RF were at home this time where their form was quite satisfying in the first two games of the season, scoring 461/4 declared against Jamaica Scorpions and 552/9 declared versus Leeward Islands.

It was an enthralling game. The young Joshua Da Silva with only a few first-class games under his belt, scored a well-played 77 in the first innings to anchor the team’s batting.

The final tally of 239 was respectable and Da Silva notched the only fifty. Special mention must be made of this youth for he has been the epitome of consistency since he made his debut; his wicketkeeping is also very sound and his concentration and character to fight when all is falling down around him is to be admired in one still wet behind the ears.

Although Jason Mohammed played a fine innings for his hundred, with his experience he ought to be more consistent in his run-making. He ought to be leading the batting, however, for a couple of years now he has been an in and out performer. Actually, his superb knock in the second innings took the game away from the Bajans placing the RF in a winning position.

Nevertheless, before this, a magnificent spell of fast bowling by the returning Phillip, was a model of proper instructional line and length bowling, deserving of his six-wicket collection.

It was a match that drifted to and fro, and after all was said and done, the RF team strode out worthy winners by 147 runs.  An enjoyable game of cricket that winning makes better.


Russell returns

Kieron Pollard, celebrating his 500th appearance in a T20 match, went ahead to win both games and the series against Sri Lanka ten days ago for a confidence booster.  This would serve him well having lost all three games in the One Day Internationals which have been his strong suit since he took over the captaincy.

It also would help as part of the psychological preparation, not only for the team but also for the skipper, the coach Phil Simmons and the selectors Roger Harper and Miles Bascombe. This would assist them in their determination for the squad that will be travelling to Australia for the challenge of the T20 World Cup (WC) in October.

The welcome return of Andre Russell, especially for his batting prowess in this format and all that is needed is consistency.

Together with Pollard they could create devastation to a bowling attack. Along with Lendl Simmons and the steady Shai Hope, the side seems to be progressing nicely; plus, there is Evin Lewis and Shimron Hetmyer to factor in.  Although they won quite convincingly against Sri Lanka, the bowling needs some work on accuracy, a vital necessity in T20 games.

There is time to go yet and a number of T20 games to play to ensure everyone is match-fit and psychologically ready.

There are games against South Africa here in the Caribbean, followed by a series in England then New Zealand, all before the WC in October.  They ought to be satisfied that there is enough time and competition to be ready for the WC.