ONLY BEST WILL DO
T&T in do-or-die clash with CCC
BY Roger Seepersad
Trinidad and Tobago will have to play one of their best games today if they are to make it to the semi-finals of the NAGICO Super50 tournament.
The home team will be in a must-win situation when they face the Combined Campuses and Colleges in their final Zone B match at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain from 2 p.m. today and the both teams know they are in for a tough fight.
T&T know first-hand what their competitors are capable of, having tasted defeat against the “Students” in last season’s semi-finals. Today, coach Kelvin Williams is calling for more consistency from his batsmen, confident that his charges were up to the challenge..
T&T all-rounder Rayad Emrit noted that to ensure they are ready for anything, the players have been practising in the nets with wet balls in case they have to face wet conditions today.
“We have learned to bowl in the nets with wet balls now so it should not be an excuse for us,” Emrit said.
But with off-spinner Sunil Narine and pacer Ravi Rampaul getting into stride, T&T’s bowling might not be the biggest concern.
Looking at T&T’s performances so far, Williams said: “The first game we were outplayed by Barbados in all departments. Barbados played extremely well. Going to Tobago we needed to win to stay alive and our bowling was brilliant.
“Now we have a game which is a final for us…the guys up for it. They know that any other result will see us crash out. I just want to see the batting be a bit more consistent,” he added.
T&T are currently third in Zone B with five points, while CCC lead the standings with seven points and Barbados are second on six.
In two matches so far, no T&T batsman has been able to notch a half century with the top score of 48 not out coming from wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin in their 28-run loss to Barbados.
Ramdin was unbeaten on 22 in T&T’s five-wicket win over the Leeward Islands in Tobago.
“There needs to be more consistency. We were not consistent with our batting, nobody really got off. We lost five wickets chasing 141. I want to see a couple batsmen bat through the innings,” Williams said.
“We have to go out there and win it. We need to play one of our best games if we going to progress,” he added.
Of T&T’s opposition, Ramdin, who captained T&T in their run to the semifinals last year, said: “They have some good players in there and we cannot take them for granted.”
“They got the better of us in the semi-final last year so we have that in the back of our minds so we are going out there tomorrow to good account of ourselves,” said Ramdin.
CCC fast bowling consultant Curtly Ambrose said his players are also hyped for the match even after their game against Barbados was washed out in Tobago on Thursday.
“We have to refocus and put all our energy and efforts into the game on Sunday against Trinidad which is a huge game,” he said.
“It is a game we have to win because Barbados have to play against the Leewards and the way they are playing, Barbados got to be the favorites, so it is a huge game for CCC and we are hoping to bring our A game against Trinidad and go into the semi-finals.”
Ambrose added: “It is not going to be easy against Trinidad. They are home and they are desperate to win as well. So is a huge game for both teams.”
T&T: Dwayne Bravo (Captain), Adrian Barath, Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons, Darren Bravo, Jason Mohammed, Denesh Ramdin, Rayad Emrit, Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul, Imran Khan, Yannick Ottley, Shannon Gabriel, Kevon Cooper.
CCC: Steven Jacobs (Captain), Anthony Alleyne, Ryan Austin, Kyle Corbin, Akeem Dewar, Kavem Hodge, Kyle Mayers, Kristopher Ramsaran, Wayne Morgan, Shacaya Thomas, Raymon Reifer, Chadwick, Kesrick Williams, Floyd Reifer.