THE TT Red Force will be vying for a second straight win in the West Indies Four-Day Championship, when they square off against the Barbados Pride in a fifth-round encounter at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Tarouba today.
The match will be a day/night affair and bowls off at 2 pm.
The Red Force defeated the Jamaica Scorpions by 157 runs at Sabina Park, Kingston last weekend – their first victory for the 2018-2019 season.
TT suffered a pair of losses at the Tarouba venue this season – by 76 runs to the Windward Islands Volcanoes and by a whopping 245 runs to the Leeward Islands Hurricanes.
Red Force are fifth on the six-team standings with 28 points, trailing four-time champions Guyana Jaguars (80.2), Hurricanes (43.6), Volcanoes (42.8) and Pride (29.8). The Scorpions are last with 14.4.
Red Force captain Denesh Ramdin is hoping his team can continue their momentum after beating Jamaica.
“The guys are pretty happy with the victory,” Ramdin said during a training session at the National Cricket Centre in Balmain, Couva yesterday. “We didn’t have that (earlier) in the season. We’re trying to take this momentum going forward. It’s an important game against the (Pride) on our home turf. We want to go into that game with full force.”
The ex-West Indies captain continued, “It’s important that you try to win cricket games. Winning games is a habit so we’re trying to create a good environment so we can win more games and gain more confidence….and move (upwards) in the table.”
The 33-year-old will like to see his teammates excel in every aspect in their clash against the Pride.
“It’s very important we play good in all departments,” he said. “You can’t let down the team in any department.
“That (was our downfall) in the first two games where we didn’t bat well and didn’t bowl well.”
Joshua Da Silva and Amir Jangoo, both wicketkeeper/batsmen (Da Silva held the gloves against the Windwards and Leewards, and Jangoo served as 'keeper for the 2017-2018 season), were left out of the squad for the last game.
Ramdin stood behind the stumps in that match but he hinted at relinquishing the gloves for today’s match.
He said, “It’s about sharing (the wicketkeeping duties). That’s how it goes for the rest of the season.”
With Darren Bravo called up to the WI Test squad to face England next week, Ramdin hopes that the experienced trio of himself and former skippers Jason Mohammed and Kyle Hope will step up with the bat.
“(Jeremy) Solozano has been batting extremely well so, hopefully, we’ll give him some extra support (at) the other end,” he said.
He was also high in praise of his bowlers who dismissed Jamaica for 112 and 167.
Referring to the spin duo of Imran Khan and Khary Pierre, Ramdin said, “In the second innings they bowled extremely well. It was a last-day wicket where the ball was spinning.”
About the pace trio of Anderson Phillip, Daniel St Clair and Odean Smith, the Red Force skipper said, “The seam bowlers, (in the) first innings, really bowled well to (dismiss) them for a very cheap score.”
This season, Barbados defeated the Jamaica Scorpions by 41 runs, but suffered a pair of defeats against the Hurricanes (by 34 runs) and the Jaguars (by six wickets).
The Red Force selection panel announced yesterday that Bravo will be replaced in the 13-man squad by off-spinner Jon Russ Jagessar.
RED FORCE: Denesh Ramdin (captain), Jeremy Solozano, Kyle Hope, Amir Jangoo, Yannic Cariah, Jason Mohammed, Joshua Da Silva, Imran Khan, Jon Russ Jagessar, Khary Pierre, Odean Smith, Daniel St Clair, Anderson Phillip.
PRIDE: Jonathan Carter (captain), Anthony Alleyne, Justin Greaves, Keon Harding, Aaron Jones, Nicholas Kirton, Marquino Mindley, Shayne Moseley, Ashley Nurse, Shamar Springer, Kevin Stoute, Tevyn Walcott, Hayden Walsh Jr.