LEEWARD ISLANDS Hurricanes manager Wilden Cornwall has lauded the performance of opening batsman Montcin Hodge, during last weekend’s West Indies Four Day Championship Third Round match against the TT Red Force at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Tarouba.
The Hurricanes hammered the Red Force by 245 runs, to notch their first win of the 2018-2019 season and condemn their hosts to their second straight defeat in the regional first-class tournament.
The 31-year-old Hodge made his highest first-class score, 158, in the first innings and an unbeaten 77 in the second innings.
In a post-game interview on Monday, Cornwall said, “Hodge’s been performing for quite some thing now. He was one of the Leewards’ run-getters for the past three years.
“He didn’t do (much) in the Super50 and in the first game as well, (but) Hodge is a very good player and I expect good things from him. To make 158 in the first innings, which was a tremendous effort, and (77) not out speaks for itself.”
Cornwall, uncle of Hurricanes’ all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall, said the team was eager to rebound from their second round loss by nine wickets at home to defending champions Guyana Jaguars.
“We (came) here from a Guyana defeat,” said Cornwall. “We had to go back to the drawing board and string our chemistry for the Trinidad leg. We beat Trinidad here last year and we know we got to up our game.
He added, “We were glad to have our captain (Kieran Powell) back, along with Jahmar Hamilton. You could see the energy coming into the Trinidad leg was going to be something special.”
Asked if this game saw a concerted effort by the Hurricanes to improve their batting, Cornwall replied, “When myself and (coach Winston) Benjamin picked up duties last year, there were a few areas that we observed and identified early. We need to make big scores when we bat first so we can set-up games, because we have a very strong bowling unit.
“(When) our batsmen can acknowledge the fact and be disciplined in the wicket, and look to score runs, I think we can be a force to reckon with in regional cricket.”
Cornwall said the Hurricanes will likely lose players for West Indies duties, during the home series against England.
But he pointed out, “We have men back home in training that can fill in for these guys. It’s opportunities for young players coming up (to) grab it. Leewards cricket is looking pretty good. We have to continue belief and we’re here to win games.”