Monday, February 19, 2018

Windwards ready to defend


GUILLEN SHINES: Trinidad and Tobago B team skipper Justin Guillen flicks while Windward Islands player Garey Mathurin looks on during their NAGICO Super50 warm-up match at the National Cricket Centre, Balmain, Couva, yesterday. Guillen scored 55 but T&T B were still on the losing end. The Windwards won by 53 runs with Mathurin grabbing four for 13 in five overs. —Photo: DAVE PERSAD

Mark Fraser

 Roger Seepersad

Despite what other teams may think of them, the Windward Islands do not consider themselves underdogs in the NAGICO Super50 tournament which bowls off tomorrow.

That was the sentiment expressed by manager Lockhart 

Sebastien who believes his team, who are the defending champions, are as good as any in the competition.

And yesterday’s 53-run win over a Trinidad and Tobago B team would have given the Windwards some confidence and match practice ahead of the tournament.

Yesterday, half centuries from Romel Currency (63 off 63 balls) and skipper Liam Sebastien (51 off 44 balls) helped the visitors recover from 28 for four to post a competitive 225 for eight in 45 overs.

T&T started well with Justin Guillen hitting 55 before they collapsed to 172 all out off 41.4 overs. Garey Mathurin took four for 13 while Dalton Polius snatched three for 18.

The Windwards will face much stiffer competition in Zone A with Guyana, Jamaica and Ireland but the Liam Sebastien-led side are not intimidated by the opposition.

Their first order of business will be the opening match against Jamaica tomorrow at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain from two p.m. in a replay of last year’s semi-final.

Speaking about their win last year, the manager said: “We always play as a team. Most people don’t tip us because they always look at us as underdogs but I think we had good all-round performances. I think it was a combined team effort that helped us win the tournament last year and we will be banking on the same thing this year.

“We never count ourselves out. Others perceive us as underdogs but we always feel that we are as good as any other team and we try not to let that deter us. I think our zone is a tough zone but it is limited overs cricket and anything can happen. All the teams are evenly matched and we expect to have some good competition,” he added.

Meanwhile, head coach Ian Allen wants his players to remain calm ahead of the tournament.

“All tournaments are a challenge especially when you are defending champions but I think we’re trying to be as calm as possible, just erase any added pressure that may come between our game, and just stay focused as much as possible and take one game at a time,” said Allen.

Summarised Scores

Windward Islands 225-8 (45 overs) (Romel Currency 63, Liam Sebastien 51, Tyron Theophille 45, Keddy Lesporis 33; Daron Cruickshank 4/59) vs T&T B 172 (41.4 overs) (Justin Guillen 55, Petrock Nicholas 32, Daron Cruickshank 27, Vikash Mohan 21; Garey Mathurin 4/13, Dalton Polius 3/18)

–Windwards won by 53 runs