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Ramkessoon still optimistic of Red Force

By JONATHAN RAMNANANSINGH Thursday, September 26 2013

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Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) chairman of selectors, Dudnath Ramkessoon, remains optimistic towards the Red Force’s chances of qualifying out of the Champions League Twenty20 Group ‘B’ stage, even though they lost by four wickets against the Sunrisers Hyderabad in their second Group ‘B’ match at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali, India, on Tuesday.

Batting first, the national squad rallied to a strong total of 160 for the loss of eight, led by a knock of 66 from Darren Bravo and 22 from opening batsman, Evin Lewis. With the game delicately balanced, a match-turning 23-run over from pacer Rayad Emrit effectively handed the Sunrisers team a nail-biting win in their opening match of the competition.

Speaking after this nation’s loss, Ramkessoon still lauded the team’s improved efforts but admitted that it was this particular Emrit over, which turned the game against a fighting TT squad.

“The team showed improvements in several areas as compared to the first game. But it really was the Emrit over that may have put the game out of the Red Force’s favour. This is cricket, however, and these things happen. I am confident that they would bounce back well in the coming matches, they have to,” said Ramkessoon.

The former national player acknowledged that the team must win their next two matches to ensure they advance to the semi-finals. Having defeated the Brisbane Heat on Sunday and losing Tuesday’s clash, the squad is scheduled to face Titans on Monday and then lock horns with Dwayne Bravo’s Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday.

Ramkessoon urged the national cricketers to keep their heads up and continue working as a comprehensive unit. He also heaped praises on batsman Darren Bravo and spinner Sunil Narine, for taking up the mantle when it mattered most.

“Narine again has proven to the world why he is the number one bowler in this form of the game. He continues to be a great asset for the squad. Additionally, Bravo had a tough game in the opening match and today’s (Tuesday) performance shows that he has settled in. He really played some class strokes and this is the Bravo we know,” Ramkessoon added.

In conclusion, the chairman of selectors commended the valiant fighting display put on by the national team and praised the improved efforts of their batting line-up.

“They gave a good account of themselves and the team played well. In cricket, one mistake can cost you the entire game and this is what happened. But, we’re remaining optimistic and must win the next two matches to qualify,” he concluded.

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