Sunday, January 21, 2018

Bravo confident ahead of semis


SIMMONS ON THE GO: Trinidad and Tobago opening batsman Lendl Simmons drives down the ground during his innings of 38 against the Combined Campuses and Colleges in their NAGICO Super50 match at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain on Sunday. T&T won by seven wickets. Behind the stumps is CCC wicket-keeper Chadwick Walton. –Photo courtesy WICB Media

Mark Fraser

Trinidad and Tobago skipper Dwayne Bravo is proud of his team’s seven-wicket demolition of the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) in their NAGICO Super50 Zone B match at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain on Sunday, but insisted that they will have to up the ante for the semi-finals.

Jamaica booked their place in the semis by topping Zone A while Zone A runners-up Guyana are also through despite losing to Jamaica in their final group game.

The Jamaicans will face T&T in tomorrow’s semi at the Oval while Guyana will face Barbados on Thursday.

The hosts were under pressure throughout the tournament after losing to Barbados by 28 runs in their opening game.

Their five-wicket win over the Leeward Islands in a low-scoring game at Shaw Park in Tobago followed by Sunday’s clinical performance is an indicator that they are improving, but Bravo believes they can do better.

Speaking after his team’s easy win on Sunday, Bravo said: “We are a team that always wants to keep improving and keep setting ourselves high standards and raising that bar. We are always under pressure to perform because of the standards we set ourselves as a team but more often than not we deliver under pressure.

“We started well with the new ball,” the captain continued, “and put some pressure on the CCC batsmen. The new ball bowlers got some wickets as well so that was key. It was good we put pressure on them early and then we capitalised on it.

“We have to beat all teams to win the competition. I think once we play to our true potential, we will does not matter who we face.”

Key to the T&T victory over CCC was Jason Mohammed’s part-time off-spin which yielded three for 19 from ten overs including a wicket from his first delivery.

Mohammed was also confident he and his teammates can raise their game another notch for the semis.

“It is going to be a big game (the semifinal) but we will go into that game with a lot of confidence after two wins. The team will be boosted. The crowd will come out. It is going to be a little bit of pressure but I think the guys are going to rise to the occasion,” said Mohammed.

“I think it was a very good spell. In that situation there were two left-handers at the crease and the captain decided to use my off-spin, and it worked out well in the end,” he added.