The Trinidad and Tobago cricketers leave for Guyana today with the West Indies Cricket Board President’s Trophy in their sights.
The Rayad Emrit-led team is at the top of the Regional Four-day Championship standings with 72 points and head into their final round match against last placed Guyana at the Guyana National Stadium bowling off on Friday knowing that a win will secure the trophy.
Barbados are second on the standings with 65 points and one game to play, while the Windward Islands are third, also on 65 having completed all their round robin matches.
Emrit said it was a good situation to be in because they know exactly what they need to do to clinch the title.
However, even though T&T will be coming up against a Guyana team that has been struggling all season, the T&T skipper is still cautious heading into the clash.
T&T surged to the top of the standings following their 145-run win over Jamaica at Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain on Sunday, while Guyana fell to their fourth loss of the season when they were beaten by the Leeward Islands in Antigua yesterday.
The win against Jamaica ensured that T&T will finish in the top two and will host one of the semi-finals for the right to play in the final for the George Headley/Everton Weekes Trophy.
“Being at the top of the table is where we wanted to be going into the last round, but we know Guyana are going to be tough to beat at home,” said Emrit.
“The guys know now that we could win the title so we have everything to play for going into this game. We are playing good cricket now and I think have the momentum heading into the final round. If we win this game we win the title, so it is in our hands now,” the skipper added.
“They have not been playing the best cricket lately and they are at the bottom of the table but it is going to be a lot of pressure because they will not want to finish in last place,” he said.
T&T only made one change to their team, with Lendl Simmons coming in for Kieron Pollard who will be unavailable due to his Indian Premier League Twenty20 commitments with Mumbai Indians.
Denesh Ramdin is also unavailable due to an injury he picked up during the ICC World T20, while Akeal Hosein is still recovering from a thigh strain.
Emrit said the return of Simmons will boost their batting following an inconsistent performance against the Jamaicans when they were dismissed for 244 and 179.
“Our batting has been a problem throughout the tournament. Lendl Simmons is back in the team and he will bring a wealth of experience and hopefully he can give us some runs and the bowlers can finish the job,” said Emrit.
“As long as we put the runs on the board, that is the most important thing. We went to Barbados and we did not play well, but in the four home games we got the results we wanted and once the batters do the job, the bowlers can finish it,” he added.
T&T squad: Rayad Emrit (Captain), Adrian Barath, Evin Lewis, Darren Bravo, Jason Mohammed, Jonathan Augustus, Imran Khan, Steven Katwaroo, Shannon Gabriel, Amit Jaggernauth, Lendl Simmons, Ricky Jaipaul, Marlon Richards. Kelvin Williams (Coach), Manohar Ramsaran (Manager), Clinton Jeremiah (Trainer), Zephrinus Nicholas (Masseur).
Regional Four-day standings
Teams M W L D Bat Bowl Pts
1. T&T 5 4 1 0 10 14 72
2. Barbados 5 3 1 1 11 15 65
3. Windwards 6 3 2 1 8 18 65
4. CCC 5 2 2 1 7 12 46
5. Jamaica 5 2 3 0 7 13 44
6. Leewards 5 2 3 0 2 14 40
7. Guyana 5 0 4 1 4 14 21
Abbreviations: Pts-total points, M-matches, W-won, L-lost, D-drawn, Bat-batting points, Bowl-bowling points