Trinidad and Tobago skipper Rayad Emrit praised his bowlers for guiding them to a 186-run win over the Windward Islands in their opening Regional Four-Day tournament match at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain which ended on Sunday.
“We stuck to our plans and the bowlers delivered,” Emrit said yesterday, referring to the efforts of 20-year-old left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein who grabbed 11 wickets in the match—six for 33 in the first innings and five for 34 in the second—to set up the win.
Emrit admitted that the batsmen failed to live up to expectations, causing them to fall about 50 runs short of their revised first innings target, but at the same time the captain praised the “fighting” half centuries from Jason Mohammed in the first innings and then Darren Bravo in the second, as well as some handy contributions from the lower order which made T&T’s scorecard look a bit more respectable.
“I thought it was a decent effort on the part of the bowlers. My main concern yet again is our batting. We did not put up the scores that we wanted to but I must say hats off to Darren Bravo in the second innings. That fighting 69 he got and Yannic Cariah’s 49, that gave us a lead that we were comfortable with, but like I said before, there is room for improvement,” he added. Bravo faced 188 balls for his score, putting on 47 with Emrit (18) for the seventh wicket before sharing 61 with Cariah for the eighth.
Cariah then put on 42 with Marlon Richards for the ninth wicket with Marlon Richards (21) to extend T&T’s lead. In their first innings, a lower order rally, and Mohammed’s 73 off 164 balls, were the main reasons they got to 222.
“Our first innings target is usually 350 or anything over three hundred would have been ideal. Because the wicket was a little wet on the first morning, we had reduced that to around 275 but we knew the first hour was going to be difficult but our middle order did not give us what we expected, so thanks to the lower order we got a respectable score,” Emrit explained.
“In the second innings we knew how the wicket was playing and we knew anything around 200 we would be comfortable with,” he added.
Speaking about Hosein’s performance in only his third first-class match, Emrit said: “I would not say it was a surprise but we expected him to do well on that wicket.”
Emrit said it was a special performance from the Queen’s Park Cricket Club all-rounder and expects Hosein to take his game even higher in the future.
“It was his home ground but taking 11 wickets in the match is something special and he can only go from strength to strength from here,” Emrit said of the former West Indies Under-19 player.
If T&T had hit their original first innings batting mark, they would have gotten three extra bonus batting points. But as it stands, they will have to be content with one bonus batting point and three bonus bowling points.
T&T finished the game with 16 points in the end (12 for winning plus the four bonus points) while the Windwards, who beat defending champions Barbados in their first round match, earned three points.
Chairman of selectors Alec Burns also confirmed yesterday that T&T will retain their squad from the opening game for their day/night match against the Leeward Islands at Queen’s Park Oval which bowls off at 3 p.m. on Friday.