COVETED CUP: Captains of the
inaugural Limacol Caribbean Premier League (CPL) semi-finalists pose with the winners’ trophy yesterday at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain. From left are Chris Gayle (Jamaica Tallawahs), Dwayne Bravo (T&T Red Steel), Kieron Pollard (Barbados Tridents) and Ramnaresh Sarwan (Guyana Amazon Warriors). The Red Steel face the Amazon Warriors in tonight’s semi-final at the Oval from 8 o’clock, with the other semi between the Tridents and Tallawahs is set for tomorrow night at the same venue.
The final is on Saturday at the Oval.
–Photo: JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK
FOCUS ON THE DEATH
Red Steel bowlers must perform vs Amazon Warriors, says Bravo
Bowling at the death will be one of the major areas for Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel to focus on against Guyana Amazon Warriors when the teams face off in the first Limacol Caribbean Premier League (CPL) semi-final, which bowls off from 8 p.m. tonight at Queen’s Park Oval.
The Red Steel rallied to reverse losing their first three matches of the inaugural CPL, winning three on the trot before their final round robin loss against Jamaica Tallawahs.
Most of their matches have come down to the wire—including their loss to the Tallawahs—with death bowling the difference between the teams. Red Steel captain Dwayne Bravo is hoping his team can shine in that department tonight.
“Death bowling is something, I guess, the Guyana team is the only team that really has solid death bowlers, but in times like this, in situations like this, in a semi-final, there is not much room for mistakes,” Bravo told the media at yesterday’s pre-match press conference at the match venue.
“The best in the world can fall under pressure, you saw Marlon Samuel did it to Lasith Malinga in the last T20 World Cup. So regardless of how good you are, once you are put in those situations, pressure does get the better of you most times,” he said, acknowledging that the Red Steel had the slowest start of the tournament.
Bravo admitted that although the Amazon Warriors possess a strong bowling attack, the Red Steel’s batting—including new acquisition, Sri Lankan international Mahela Jayawardene, who replaced injured South African Davy Jacobs—is one of the strongest in the League.
“We want to ensure that tomorrow we (have) proven as a team, we can play under pressure, bat under pressure. In this tournament already, our back was against the wall, and each time we have risen to the occasion and overcome all the obstacles. So for the semi-finals it will be no different,” Bravo said.
Bravo said he was excited and fancied his team’s chances, as he feels they had good momentum heading into the semi-final.
Amazon Warriors skipper Ramnaresh Sarwan said his team, which finished atop the league standings with five victories from seven matches, also had some great results, a fact that works in their favour.
Sarwan said he also hoped the Red Steel’s momentum will continue.
“And that would be great because they last their last game,” Sarwan said to much laughter. “So if they can continue with their momentum, that would be good for us But we’re looking forward to this game, and hopefully (we’ll) be able to come out on top.”
Sarwan said the departure of Pakistani Mohammad Hafeez for international duty, a key person on and off the cricket field, leaves a big void, but he thinks that both teams have experienced and talented players that would make the encounter an interesting one. Hard-hitting Sri Lankan opener Tillakaratne Dilshan has replaced Hafeez, while the Guyana-based franchise has also added Dilshan’s countryman, dangerous fast bowler Lasith Malinga, to their roster.
Red Steel head coach Gordon Greenidge believes the new recruits to all the teams will add a new dimension to the tournament. Greenidge also credited his team with making a good turnaround after a difficult start to the CPL T20 campaign.
“We hope we will be the most successful team and the team to win the first CPL tournament in the Caribbean. I wish the teams the best of luck, but not too much luck,” Greenidge said.
Bravo hailed Greenidge and the rest of the management team for the squad’s reversal in fortunes, as well as the advisorial role West Indies legend Brian Lara played with the team.