After a disastrous trip to Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago’s “Red Force” bounced back strong with a ten-wicket win over the Combined Campuses and Colleges early on the fourth day of their Regional Four-Day championship day/night game at Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain yesterday.
Needing just 24 to win on the final day of the contest, T&T took just 19 minutes to knock off the runs and claim the maximum 20 points from the game, earning five batting points and three bowling points in addition to the 12 for their outright win.
Evin Lewis was unbeaten on 11 and Adrian Barath, after being dropped on zero by Raymon Reifer, ended the game unbeaten on eight.
T&T dominated most of the match despite being handicapped in the bowling department with the absence of captain Rayad Emrit, who was unable to bowl due to back spasms, and after getting the “heartbreaking” news about the sudden death of promising left-arm fast bowler Tevin Robertson who was on trials with the players before the start of the season.
“It was a tough game for us,” said the T&T skipper.
“CCC are always tough opponents,” Emrit said, praising the performance of his bowlers and making special mention of Man-of-the-Match Jason Mohammed whose maiden first-class double hundred set up their massive first innings total of 451 for eight declared.
The CCC were dismissed for 144 and 330 in reply, with T&T leg-spinner Imran Khan taking seven wickets in the game and debutante left-arm orthodox spinner Ricky Jaipaul taking four key wickets in the second innings.
“Having been 80 for three on the first day and to come back and score 451, I must say well played to Jason again for the way he batted and on the second day when we heard the news about Tevin. I think the guys really wanted to win and dedicate it to him,” Emrit added.
Emrit himself contributed to the big total, fighting through back spasms to score an even hundred in a fourth-wicket partnership of 227 with Mohammed.
The bowling effort he said was “tremendous”.
“The wicket was really flat and the first innings set it up for us and then having bowled them out for 144 made it easier for us in the second innings,” he explained.
“But the way they batted in the second innings made it tough for our bowlers, so I must say well played to our bowlers for doing the job for us. The wicket was flat and we knew it would be tough. The pink ball does not really swing during the day and we only had one seamer…It was hard work for the bowlers,” he insisted.
Darren Bravo led the team from the second day with Emrit on the sidelines.
Speaking about his injury, the T&T skipper said “It is a bit hit or miss for now.”
“I am doing a scan tomorrow (today) and that will let me know what is going on for the rest of the tournament,” he added.
T&T still have two matches to go in the round robin stage, hosting Jamaica this weekend before going on the road to face Guyana next week.
Emrit is hopeful he will be able to play in both matches which he said will be crucial.
After yesterday’s win, he said the team was confident they could clinch the trophy.
“We are on a high now and we think if we can win the next two games we can win the tournament and we really want to do it because we have not won it in a while,” the skipper added.