TT RED Force coach Kelvin Williams said his team had some good moments during the Regional Super50 tournament, and is calling on the young players to prove they are national players by dominating club cricket when the season bowls off on Saturday.
The Windward Islands Volcanoes inched past the Red Force in its final preliminary match with a win to earn a semi-final spot ahead of the Red Force. Both the Volcanoes and Red Force ended on 22 points, but Volcanoes earned more wins to earn a semi-final spot. The Volcanoes defeated Red Force by three wickets and then crushed Hampshire by 136 runs to advance to the semi-finals.
Williams said TT showed some promise during the tournament, but losing against Volcanoes proved costly as a win for Red Force would have sealed a semi-final spot. “I thought we performed well but not as well as we should,” Williams said.
“Going into that last game against the Windward Islands, it was all in our hands seeing that we got washed out against CCC (before the Windwards match). We started slowly (against the Windwards) but then we got a respectable total which was 254...the two opening (Volcanoes) batsmen put some runs on the board as quickly as possible. We had to call on Sunil Narine as always to come in (and restrict them) but after that we tried to play catch up.” Volcanoes got to 255/7 in 46.3 overs to earn the win against Red Force.
Williams said some of the young TT players showed some grit such as Isaiah Rajah and Amir Jangoo. He said the young players need to prove they are national players by outclassing their opponents at club level.
“At the end of the day, they got to go back to club cricket and dominate. You don’t really want to dip your standard down to the club level. You want the club cricketers to raise their standard to yours, so they got to realise they have to do that. People will be looking at them also, not just the selectors, there is a lot of people who would be looking at them and would be quick to make remarks so, all I want to wish them and tell them is to go there and dominate.”
Williams said West Indies trio Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed and Sheldon Cottrell all performed at a high level before joining the Windies to start preparing for the World Cup qualifiers. Mohammed and Lewis missed the last two matches for TT, while Cottrell missed the last match. The TT coach also praised Narine for his performance.
“Narine was outstanding...he gathered 20 wickets in the games that he played which up to yesterday (Saturday) he was the top wicket taker until (Shane) Shillingford took three, so Shillingford is now on 21 and Narine is on 20. Evin Lewis again proved how critical and crucial he is to TT and West Indies cricket as far as his approach to batting and his appetite for batting.”