Defending Premier Division Sunday League champions Queen’s Park Cricket Club have strengthened their ranks with the return of their Trinidad and Tobago players for today’s first semi-final against last year’s runners up PowerGen Sports bowling off at 2:30 p.m. at Avidesh Samaroo Park in Endeavour, Chaguanas.
Adrian Barath, Akeal Hosein, Jonathan Augustus, Darren Bravo and Shannon Gabriel will return to the Parkites line-up, joining Indian Premier League star Kevon Cooper and in-form all-rounder Daron Cruickshank for what is expected to be a keenly contested semi.
PowerGen also welcome back two national players in middle order batsman Jason Mohammed and left-arm spinner Kavesh Kantasingh and will also have the services of Guyanese batsman Rajindra Chandrika and hard-hitting opening batsman Nicholas Sookdeosingh.
Hosein was in good form for T&T in their recent win over the Windward Islands in the regional four-day tournament, taking 11 wickets, while Bravo and Mohammed both hit half-centuries.
Queen’s Park coach David Furlong says while his team will be confident after winning all their matches in the competition so far, they will not be overconfident.
He also says the battle will bring out the best in the players on both sides.
“PowerGen and Queen’s Park have had a rivalry over the last four years when we faced each in either in semi-finals or finals in the 50 over and Twenty20 competitions and I think the rivalry is good and it makes the players play the game harder.”
PowerGen coach Baldath Bodoe says the game will be like a final featuring two of the best teams in the competition.
Bodoe is confident they can dethrone the champions but says his team will have to bat the full 50 overs to give themselves the best chance of coming out on top.
“There is a lot more maturity in our batting and hopefully the batsmen will bat out all the overs and once they do that, we will definitely get a competitive score. Our bowlers have been bowling well in the competition so we are confident we can restrict them,” Bodoe added.
The second semi-final takes place tomorrow from 2.30 p.m. between First Citizens Clarke Road United and Jenexcon Tableland at Syne Village in Penal.
QPCC: Justin Guillen, Adrian Barath, Darren Bravo, Jonathan Augustus, Daron Cruickshank, Kevon Cooper, Akeal Hosein, Khary Pierre, Anthony Balgobin, Amit Jaggernauth, Shannon Gabriel, Marlon Barclay, Petrock Nicholas, Tion Webster.
PowerGen: Gregory Mahabir, Rajindra Chandrika, Nicholas Sookdeosingh, Sherwin Ganga, Jason Mohammed, Akiel Cooper, Varoon Samaroo, Gibran Mohammed, Kavesh Kantasingh, Ansil Bhaggan, Strassark Sankar, Jerron Maniram, Jyd Goolie, Jovan Ali, Darren Beekah.