Ramdin says Red Force can win C/League
By STEPHON NICHOLAS Friday, September 13 2013
RED FORCE captain Denesh Ramdin slammed a whirlwind half-century yesterday while Jason Mohammed and Adrian Barath also stroked fifties as the trio warmed-up for the Twenty20 Champions League with good knocks in the final practice match at the National Cricket Centre in Couva ahead of the team’s departure for India next week.
Opening for Team A, Barath stroked a solid 56 from 57 balls with two fours and a six while Mohammed spanked 54 from 25 balls to boost their final total to a challenging 165 for two from their 20 overs. Left-handers Evin Lewis (22) and Darren Bravo (27) had useful scores too as the Team B bowlers struggled to contain their rivals.
In reply, Team B lost a number of early wickets and were in deep trouble when Ramdin strolled to the crease. Alongside young Adrian Ali (16), the pair put on a quick-fire 50 partnership to revive hopes of a victory. Ramdin slammed four fours and two sixes before pulling a full toss from pacer Navin Stewart straight to Lewis on the square leg boundary for a well-played 66 from just 39 balls.
Stewart (2/19), leg-spinner Samuel Badree (2/22) and off-spinner Jason Mohammed (2/10) were the pick of the bowlers.
Speaking after his knock, Ramdin expressed satisfaction with his team’s preparation for the Champions League.
“It has gone good so far, the (practice) games in Guyana and those in Dominica went well...Today we had a good outing, it was a good pitch and our batters went out there and got some runs,” the wicketkeeper/batsman explained.
Ramdin also backed the star players in his squad to come good and make their West Indies, Indian Premier League and previous Champions League experience count.
“We have a good bunch of guys with youth and experience. There are guys who (will be playing) their fourth Champions League and are in the IPL, we hope to have a better showing than last year in South Africa (when TT were eliminated in the qualifying stage),” he continued.
Ramdin, commenting on his team’s chances, boldly declared that the Red Force has the firepower to lift the Champions League trophy in their last chance at glory for the red, white and black.
“We’d like to do better than the first year (we competed) in 2009 (when TT lost in the final). We played tremendously well, but unfortunately we just didn’t hold our nerve down in the end. I believe we can go all the way, we have the ability and the first couple games are going to tell (how well we do),” he pointed out.
Ramdin expressed satisfaction with the players at his disposal, with a few surprise packages like batsmen Evin Lewis and Nicholas Pooran as well as the ace spinner Sunil Narine who he hopes to use strategically to maximise his impact on the game.
TT TEAM A- 165/2; Adrian Barath 56, Jason Mohammed 54, Darren Bravo 27, Evin Lewis 22 vs TT TEAM B- 131/7; Denesh Ramdin 66, Adrian Ali 16, Navin Stewart 2/19, Samuel Badree 2/22, Jason Mohammed 2/10.