TT Red Force coach Mervyn Dillon is not going to put added pressure on his team as they face leaders Barbados Pride in round five of the West Indies Four-Day Championships starting on Thursday at Kensington Oval from 10 am, saying Red Force will stick to their game plan.
Red Force are third on the six-team standings with one win, one loss and two draws. The Yannick Ottley-led team was frustrated in round four as rain washed out half of their match against Windward Islands Volcanoes at Windsor Park in Dominica. Batting first, Red Force scored 374/9 declared with new Red Force captain Ottley (113) and Jason Mohammed (119) both scoring centuries.
In reply, Volcanoes got to 293/8 as the match ended in a draw as a number of hours were lost because of rain, particularly in the first three days.
Pride lead the table with three victories and one loss and will be eager to stretch their lead at the top of the standings. Dillon, speaking about the Pride match, said, "The thought (process) is the same, obviously like I said Barbados is heading the table because they have played some really good cricket and posting a few outright victories. Having said that our focus is and will remain the same...we worry about the things that we control – which is how we bat, how we bowl, how we field, taking our chances and making sure we put some good scores on the table."
Dillon says he is not going to put added pressure on his team despite the magnitude of the contest.
"It's another game, we are just about halfway in the tournament. Barbados is leading the tournament because they have played some good cricket, but it does not change anything about the way we are going to play. I am not going to put that pressure on the guys of the idea whether this game has to be won. We are going to play cricket and we are out here to win and to win every single game."
Dillon said fast bowler Kemar Roach returning to the Pride line up will prove a challenge for the Red Force batsmen, but the Red Force coach is confident in his players.
Ottley, who took over the captaincy from Darren Bravo in the last match, pleased Dillon with his performance along with Mohammed.
"Praise must be given to Ottley. I think coming in as captain on short notice and also making the decision to bat three I think it was really a commendable effort on a morning that was overcast and had some grass on the wicket. I think you can't say enough for his efforts so far in the game that we played. I keep saying Jason is somebody that I think had deserved another chance at the top and he keeps showing that from (the) Super50 (tournament) and now into this tournament. He has continued to score a lot of runs."
In other matches bowling off on Thursday, Jamaica Scorpions will play Leeward Islands Hurricanes at Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium in Jamaica and Volcanoes will face Guyana Jaguars at the National Cricket Stadium in Grenada. All matches start at 10 am local time.
Yannick Ottley (captain), Yannic Cariah, Bryan Charles, Joshua da Silva, Terrance Hinds, Akeal Hosein, Kissoondath Magram, Jason Mohammed, Uthman Muhammad, Denesh Ramdin, Keagan Simmons, Jeremy Solozano, Daniel St. Clair, David Furlonge (manager), Mervyn Dillon (coach)
Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Camarie Boyce, Shamarh Brooks, Shane Dowrich, Dominic Drakes, Justin Greaves, Keon Harding, Chemar Holder, Kyle Mayers, Shayne Moseley, Ashley Nurse, Kemar Roach, Kevin Stoute