TT RED Force got their CG United Super50 campaign back on track with a six-wicket win over Guyana Harpy Eagles at the Queen’s Park Oval in St Clair on Wednesday, but Red Force captain Nicholas Pooran wants a more clinical performance from his players.
Red Force are now first in Zone A on 14 points with three wins, one loss and one no result.
Batting first, Harpy Eagles were limping on 77/7 in the 26th over. Leg spinner Yannic Cariah did most of the damage removing three of the Harpy Eagles' batsmen.
Only opener Kemol Savory (32) and Tevin Imlach (34) offered resistance as the other batsmen failed to reach double figures.
Romario Shepherd and Gudakesh Motie came to the middle and helped rescue the innings.
Pooran, who commended the effort of his bowlers, wants Red Force to bowl out teams more quickly.
“That is something we definitely working on, it’s a trend now (for teams to prolong their innings against us)...the last couple wickets keep forging partnerships. We are trying our best, (but) I think in the middle overs the ball gets a bit bigger.”
Red Force got half a chance to dismiss Shepherd early in his innings as he skied a ball to the mid-wicket fence, but Kjorn Ottley running back from mid-wicket and Terrance Hinds running to his left on the boundary could not get their hands on the ball. Ottley dived in an attempt to complete the catch, but his effort proved futile.
The Red Force players were frustrated as they felt Hinds had a better chance to complete the catch.
A 20-run partnership between Shepherd and Veerasammy Permaul took Guyana to 97 in the 32nd over, before the latter was the eighth wicket to fall.
Shepherd and Motie then put on 79 runs for the ninth wicket.
Pooran made a number of bowling changes, but it did not lead to immediate success for the home team.
Motie hit a six over long on off spinner Sunil Narine and Shepherd slammed medium pacer Hinds for a six over mid-wicket to reach his 50. His 50 came off 48 balls and included four fours and two sixes.
Red Force got the breakthrough when Shepherd was dismissed.
Shepherd tried to steer a wide, full-pitched delivery from Hinds down to third man but could only find Jason Mohammed at short third man. Shepherd hit four fours and three sixes in his knock of 56 off 50 balls.
Part-time off spinner Jyd Goolie got the last wicket, bowling Clinton Pestano for two as Guyana were all out for 182.
Motie ended on 39 not out off 47 deliveries with three fours and one six. Cariah grabbed 3/30 in ten overs, fast bowler Shannon Gabriel took 2/25 in seven overs and Hosein picked up 2/52 in ten overs.
Kjorn Ottley, who has played confidently throughout the competition, continued to demonstrate his stroke-making ability in the Red Force response.
His opening partner Amir Jangoo, playing in his first match of the tournament, gave his wicket away for two when he played a delivery from fast bowler Pestano to mid-on fielder Savory.
Ottley and Darren Bravo added 28 runs for the second wicket, before the former was caught and bowled by left-arm spinner Motie for 27 off 34 balls.
Bravo, like Jangoo, presented a gift to the Harpy Eagles as he played a short ball straight to Pestano at cover to give Motie another scalp. Bravo only contributed five as Red Force were now 60/3 in the 17th over.
Red Force kept throwing away their wickets as attempting a quick single Jason Mohammed was run out. Mohammed played a shot and took off, but was sent back by Pooran. Mohammed did not return to his crease in time and had to return to the pavilion.
Goolie looked solid when he came out and matched Pooran with his strokes, before rain interrupted play with Red Force 127/4 in the 26th over.
After a 35-minute rain delay play resumed.
Pooran took little time to settle down again hitting Motie for six over square leg.
The pair of Goolie and Pooran combined aggression and patience in a partnership which took the match away from the Jaguars.
After Goolie struck spinner Kevin Sinclair for a six over long off it was a race between the two batsmen to get to 50. Goolie was now on 45 and Pooran on 47.
Pooran won the race when he struck left-arm spinner Permaul for a six over long off.
Goolie got to the landmark minutes later with a single on the leg side. Red Force were now in sight of victory with only ten runs required.
The scores were level when Goolie struck Permaul for six over long on. A single off the next ball by Goolie ended the match as Red Force closed on 183/4 after 34.3 overs.
Goolie closed on 58 not out off 58 deliveries with two fours and five sixes and Pooran belted one four and five sixes in his unbeaten 56 off 47 balls. Motie was the best bowler for the Harpy Eagles ending with 2/44 in eight overs.
Pooran was happy with the win, saying, “Definitely satisfied. We obviously lost a game against Guyana as well and we wanted to win really bad in this game. Obviously, the other night here the two points against CCC (Combined Campuses and Colleges) obviously hurt us. We felt like we should have won that game.”
Red Force were less than 20 runs from victory against CCC on Monday when bad light ended the match. Red Force play Windward Islands Volcanoes on Saturday at Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba at 2 pm. A win will seal a semi-final spot for Red Force.
GUYANA HARPY EAGLES 182 (45.2 overs) – Romario Shepherd 56, Gudakesh Motie 39 not out; Yannic Cariah 3/30, Akeal Hosein 2/52, Shannon Gabriel 2/25 vs TT RED FORCE 183/4 (34.3 overs) – Jyd Goolie 58 not out, Nicholas Pooran 56 not out; G Motie 2/44. Red Force won by six wickets
STANDINGS ZONE A