National batsman Tion Webster scored a brilliant 178 — his second first class hundred — on Saturday against Jamaica Scorpions at the Brian Lara Academy in Tarouba.
And the 22-year-old right hander said analysing the match situation proved crucial in the Red Force’s fightback against Jamaica on day two and day three of their encounter which ended in a draw on Sunday.
It was see-saw battle throughout the match with Jamaica Scorpions holding the advantage after one and a half days as they posted 432 all out batting first, before reducing Red Force to 38/4. Webster and Cariah led a remarkable fightback by the Red Force, putting on 273 runs for the fifth wicket before Cariah fell for 127. Left-handed Cariah faced 299 deliveries and struck 14 fours. Man of the match Webster, who made his debut last season, eventually fell for 178 off 322 balls which comprised 17 fours and five sixes, as Red Force declared on 379/7 late on day three.
Scorpions were dismissed for 141 in the second innings. However, the match ended in a draw as Red Force did not have enough time to chase 195 for victory on the final day on Sunday. TT closed on 84 for three.
Webster said the more experienced Cariah and himself communicated constantly which contributed to the huge partnership between the pair.
Webster said they just tried to occupy the crease in the early stages of the partnership. Cariah, 25, has 43 first class matches under his belt since making his debut in 2011.
“He (Cariah) kept talking to me a lot and telling me ‘it’s not about runs at this stage, it is just about batting time and batting out the day,’” Webster said. “I batted with him last year when I scored my first century (for Red Force) as well, so we bat good together and the understanding is good between us. He kept talking to me every two overs and kept on reminding me of the situation.” Webster was pleased with his performance after he was dismissed cheaply in round one.
“I am quite satisfied with my performance, barring the last game. I did not get any major score so bouncing back is always a good feeling.”
Webster praised the Red Force response after being outplayed in the first two days on home soil. “It was a big effort from the team after starting off on the back foot. (I am pleased to) put in a good performance and help the team reach so close to winning.
Maybe if we got them out a little quicker (in the second innings) by cutting out the boundary balls (we could have won).
Other than that, it was a good effort by the guys and it is a good feeling playing for Trinidad and Tobago.”
The Queen’s Park cricketer admitted he was a little disappointed not scoring a double century. “It was playing through my mind, getting a double century, because it is a big landmark, but I was thinking of the team and putting them in a good position.”
The Red Force will play Windward Islands at the Queen’s Park Oval from Thursday and Webster is keen on another top effort. “I am looking forward to that as well because it is my home ground and I love batting at the Queen’s Park Oval. My mind should be at ease batting there and I will be comfortable.”
After back-to-back draws, Webster says it is important for Red Force to win the next match. “It is very important to get an outright win in this four-day (tournament), it is very hard but getting an outright win always sets the tone and puts you in a better position than you were in before. Getting an outright win will help us.”