The Jamaica Tallawahs were just slightly off their game and the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel took full advantage, thanks to some good strategic moves in their Limacol Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 match at the Queen’s Park Oval yesterday.
Red Steel skipper Dwayne Bravo lobbied for Javon Searles to play his first match of the tournament yesterday and he rewarded the faith placed in him by smashing two sixes in the last over to ensure his team got to 183 for five.
Evin Lewis was another who came back into the squad yesterday and lashed 72 off 43 balls at the top of the innings.
Then Kevin O’Brien took four wickets to restrict the Tallawahs to 170 for six.
Speaking after the 13-run win, Bravo explained that it was all about strategy.
“After we lost to Guyana, the coach and I decided that we are going to pick teams based on conditions and the opposition. We are not necessarily going to keep a winning team,” said Bravo.
“It was a good choice (to bring in Searles),” he added.
“No matter how good you are, it is very difficult to chase down a total going at 12 runs an over for an entire innings. Something had to give at some point in time, and I knew Chris would have probably been waiting on the spinners—Samuel Badree and Sulieman Benn.
“They only got three overs with the spin and it is good we had options like Kevin O’Brien, and it shows that we have depth in our team,” the Red Steel skipper explained.
“He came on and did a fantastic job, getting the wicket of Gayle and from there I knew the game changed,” Bravo added.
The Tallawahs coach Mickey Arthur and skipper Gayle both noted that their side was not at its best and got a lesson, having won its first three matches in the tournament,
“We have played very well through this tournament and today (yesterday) we were just slightly off in all three departments and when you are not on your game in all three departments, you get punished and we were punished,” said the Tallawahs coach.
He added: “I think it is probably a good wakeup call for the side and we will come back strong in Jamaica without a doubt.”
Gayle said they “played good cricket in patches” but it was not enough to complete the win.
“They got on top of us with the ball. In the bowling department we had our chances earlier but we didn’t make the best use of it and a few hiccups in the field kind of cost us a bit as well,” the Tallawahs skipper added.
The win was the Red Steel’s third in a row and they will be going for another when they tackle the last-placed St Lucia Zouks in the only match today at the Oval from 4 p.m.