Tuesday, February 20, 2018

‘A’ game needed

Coach Williams wants to avoid mistakes on the road


SUCCESS: Members of the Trinidad and Tobago team celebrate another Marlon Richards wicket last Sunday, the third day of the sixth round match between T&T and Jamaica in the Regional 4-Day Tournament at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain. T&T won by 145 runs.

Mark Fraser

Trinidad and Tobago will have to bring their “A” game if they are to beat Guyana in their final round Regional Four-Day Championship match to clinch the West Indies Cricket Board President’s Trophy.

That is the view of T&T coach Kelvin Williams, who said it will take total team effort to come out on top in what will be their second away game of the season. T&T’s first match on the road against Barbados ended in disaster as the Rayad Emrit-led side lost by an innings and 160 runs after they were dismissed for 120 and 199. 

However, T&T’s domestic form has been exceptional. They won all four of their home games to go to the top of the standings with one round of matches to be played. The top team in the round robin phase of the Regional Four-day Championship will take home the WICB President’s Trophy.

The top four teams after the round robin phase will advance to the semi-finals for the right to play in the final for the George Headley/Everton Weekes Trophy. T&T are guaranteed a place in the top two and will host one of the semi-finals.

Williams is hoping his players learned from their mistakes against the Bajans and are able to step up their game against the Guyanese, who have not won a match this season. “We have to play well. It is our second trip away from home. The first trip, I don’t really want to talk about it, but the second trip away from home, we should be able to learn from our mistakes and actually push home the advantage,” the T&T coach stated.

“We are at the top of the championship and a win against Guyana will actually see us clinch the trophy but at the end of the day, we need to play to win it. Everybody needs to actually come up trumps and bring their ‘A’ game and make sure they play a part for Trinidad’s success and that is what I expect them to do,” he added.

Even though his team is at the top of the standings on 72 points, seven better than second-placed Barbados and third-placed Windward Islands, who are both on 65, Williams is still not totally satisfied with his team’s performances thus far.

“Unpredictable” is how he described the side’s batting in the competition after their performance against Jamaica when they were dismissed for 244 and 179 at the Queen’s Park Oval last weekend.

He admits that he is a little concerned despite whipping the Jamaicans by 145 runs in three days. “I think the batting has not been convincing. It is unpredictable. Sometimes we have a big score and other times we struggle, but I think if the batting can click on a consistent basis I will be happy,” said Williams. “Sometimes in cricket it is not going to happen but I am a bit concerned about it now,” he added.

Williams was also worried about the amount of dropped catches T&T had in the Jamaica match and said it was an area they will be trying to improve on ahead of the Guyana match, which bowls off on Friday at the Guyana National Stadium. He said while there was a feeling of satisfaction when they beat Jamaica, there is still work to be done.

“At the end of the day, to beat Jamaica in Trinidad, which we haven’t done for a long period of time, you have to be satisfied, but at the same time there are some areas we still need to work on,” he said. “It was really a total team effort and the energy in the field was quite good although we dropped five catches in that first innings,” the coach ended.

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).