"One bad game wouldn't throw us off. We know how to bounce back."
The plan did not come together all the way for Trinidad and Tobago on the opening night of the Asia versus the Caribbean T20 series, but coach David Williams expected his players to respond appropriately in their second match of the round-robin tournament, last night at the Queen's Park Oval.
T&T failed to defend a total of 171 as ICC Associate members Afghanistan won the match by three wickets with two balls to spare, on Thursday. In the penultimate over, with 31 still needed at its start, 21 were conceded and fast bowler Shannon Gabriel was unable to complete the over after being banned from bowling for delivering two over-the-waist no-balls.
In addition, all-rounder Kevon Cooper sprained his left ankle and had to be taken off the field in his second over.
Yesterday morning however, Williams said that Cooper's injury, "doesn't seem to be that serious. We'll be monitoring the situation and see how it goes."
Williams could not say whether Cooper would have been available for T&T's second match, last night against Barbados. However, he rued the all-rounder's loss in Thursday's opener.
"He was one of the guys we earmarked to complete his four overs," Williams told the Express. "The other bowlers tried but we did miss Cooper last night."
Cooper has just come back from a serious knee injury sustained in last year's edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). And with the absence of Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard for T&T's Champions League campaign next month, Williams will be anxious that his injury woes do not persist.
Cooper had conceded 11 runs in 11 balls before he was forced to stop. In his absence, Jason Mohammed was forced into action and conceded 22 in his two overs.
"The Afghanistan guys played well," said Williams, "but those moments of lapses cost us the game...couple dropped catches and poor execution."
He added: "We just didn't execute properly. We allowed them to get back into the game with sloppy fielding and poor execution. It was very slippery, the ball was very wet and the guys couldn't put it where they wanted to. That wasn't an excuse because we knew it was going to be wet. It was the same for Afghanistan."
Asked whether T&T had lost their grip on the game because of a lapse in focus, the coach denied this.
"We don't play cricket like that. Shannon didn't get it right (with) two no-balls. It is a learning experience for us, especially for Shannon."
Otherwise, the coach noted that his side had, " been getting good starts," and that, "it was good to see (William) Perkins and (Adrian) Barath getting runs."
The pair put on 78 for the first wicket at over nine runs an over to set up the challenging total, one Williams had backed his bowlers to defend.
But Thursday was not a night when things went as usual.
"We are a good team and we just have to continue to strive for excellence," he said.