Trinidad and Tobago’s victory over Jamaica in their four-day semi-final at Sabina Park was one of the biggest upsets of the season.
It is a feat made even more impressive considering T&T’s previous loss to Jamaica at that venue inside of three days during the round robin phase of the competition, followed by a two-day humiliation by Barbados at Queen’s Park Oval.
T&T were also trounced at the hands of the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) in the Super50 semi at Kensington Oval, Barbados.
After those performances, few would have given Denesh Ramdin’s men a chance of toppling the five-time champions.
But those defeats and the ensuing comments about the team that inspired them to fight for the win against the dominant Jamaicans.
All-rounder Rayad Emrit, who is now T&T’s leading wicket-taker in the 2013 four-day tournament with 20, said that after the losses, the players kept reminding themselves of what had gone before, and used those experiences to motivate themselves to lift their game.
He said: “After losing the Super50 semi-finals where we humiliated ourselves, we knew that we failed them back home. We know that we had a lot of support. We heard the comments people were making about our performances and we knew that we are a far better team than the performance in the semi-final would suggest.
“We are a team with big heart and we kept reminding ourselves about that. We are a better team than what we showed throughout the season, and I think that motivated us. Some of the guys kept reminding us who were there back in 2011 when Jamaica made us field for two and a half days, so there was a lot of motivation,” Emrit said.
Emrit was proud of the team for their never-say-die attitude.
“After getting two losses back to back...Jamaica and Barbados and then the 50-over defeat...to get this victory means a lot for the team,” he stated.
“After losing first innings, there were a lot of people who really locked us off and never thought we would have come back and win this game, but the guys never gave up. We went out there and we had everything to play for.
“The bowlers did it for us in both innings and they asked for the batting to go out there and give it a last big effort. After losing three wickets in first two overs on the last day, we really thought we were out of it, but this team has big heart...we still believed we could get it. We knew once we applied ourselves we could get the runs,” Emrit added.
Now they head into the final against Barbados with another point to prove.
Emrit and the rest of the squad, with the lone of change of Adrian Barath replacing Kjorn Ottley, left early today for Barbados to try and beat a team that won their previous two four-day matches inside two days.