TT Red Force coach Mervyn Dillon said his team is quietly confident that they can change their fortunes against Guyana Jaguars when the teams clash, at the Guyana National Stadium, in Providence, in round three of the West Indies Four-Day Championships, from 10 am, on Thursday.
Red Force lead the six-team standings with 29.6 points after one win and one draw. Red Force are holding on to a slim advantage over second placed Windward Islands Volcanoes and Jaguars are in fourth place.
“We looked at the facts, which is they have had the upper hand against us recently, but we also understand that the change in set up and the team morale is really good and that is always, as the manager (David Furlonge) said, the signs of a really good team,” Dillon said.
“We are not taking them for granted, but we are quietly confident in terms of getting a good result from this game.” The teams split the two-match series last season with Red Force defeating Jaguars by 93 runs in round six before Jaguars won by six wickets in round ten.
“The mood in the team is quite confident. We had a discussion just now and one of the things we discussed is continuing to do what we control. We looked at the record against Guyana, I did not realise that the only time we beat them was last year. In the last ten times that we played them they have beaten us eight times, we have won one and drawn one...those things are subject to change and we are looking forward.”
The Red Force batsmen, who have struggled for a number of years in the four-day tournament, have hit the ground running with two strong efforts this season.
Red Force piled up 460/4 in the first innings in round one against Jamaica Scorpions with Joshua Da Silva (113 not out) and Yannic Cariah (100 not out) hitting centuries in a drawn match, at Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba.
In round two, against Leeward Islands Hurricanes at the same venue, the TT franchise made another massive total when they scored 552/9 declared in the first innings with captain Darren Bravo (133) and Terrance Hinds (102 not out) leading the way.
The Red Force bowlers supported the batsmen bowling out Hurricanes for 186 in the first innings and 198 in the second. Jaguars are off to an inconsistent start in this year’s campaign. After an impressive ten-wicket win over Hurricanes, at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, in Antigua, Jaguars fell to a seven-wicket defeat to Barbados Pride at Kensington Oval in Barbados.
Red Force played three spinners in the last match including Akeal Hosein, Bryan Charles and Kissoondath Magram. Dillon, who said the wicket in Guyana looks like a result oriented wicket, expects his spinners to feature prominently.
“Based on the wicket I saw definitely (expect the spinners to make an impact). As I said when I look at the wicket I am not sure if because of the rain it lacks a little bit of preparation, but as I said it is for us to adjust once we get on the wicket because we’ve seen where wickets can surprise us at times, but knowing the track obviously I expect that spin would play a huge part in the game.”