Red Force coach laments 'off day' in Super50 final

Jamaica Scorpions celebrate their Super50 title on Saturday at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.  - CWI
Jamaica Scorpions celebrate their Super50 title on Saturday at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua. - CWI

A bad day at the office.

That was how Trinidad and Tobago Red Force coach David Furlonge described his team’s disappointing three-wicket defeat against Jamaica Scorpions in the CG Insurance Super50 Cup final on Saturday night.

Batting first at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua, the defending champions were unable to maintain their recent form and were dismissed for a below-par 217 in 47 overs, with middle-order batsman Yannic Cariah (43) top scoring, and Akeal Hosein (37) and opener Kjorn Ottley (33) providing support.

In reply, Jamaica made light work of the low target, despite late wickets, reaching 218/7, with three overs to spare.

TT lost top pace bowler Shannon Gabriel to injury. He bowled just two overs and took one wicket.

On his team’s inability to retain the title, TT coach David Furlonge said it was a “disappointing”batting performance. “We didn’t make enough runs, that’s it. Defending our low total, we had our plans and knew we had to bowl them out in 40 overs. We had to use our four main bowlers; Narine, Hosein, Shannon and Yannic.

“Sadly, Shannon had an injury he was carrying throughout the tournament and the pain was too much for him to continue.

“We had an off day: unfortunately, it was in the final. We didn’t get ourselves a quick start and every time we started to build small partnerships, we had unfortunate dismissals.”

Furlonge cited Darren Bravo’s caught-and-bowled dismissal to spinner Dennis Bulli and Cariah's hit wicket.

Before the latter's dismissal, Furlonge said TT were on course to get to 270 runs, at least.

“If we had gotten to that score – I’m not saying that it would have been enough, (but) Jamaica would have been under a bit more pressure to bat faster.”

Furlonge also defended his move to introduce spinner Khary Pierre, for the first time in this year’s tournament, in the final. He replaced fellow spinner Imran Khan.

“Jamaica have ten right-handed batsmen, and although Khan is a leg-break bowler…we saw in their last game against Guyana, both Gudakesh Motie and Veerasammy Permaul (Guyanese spinners) gave the Scorpions’ batsmen some trouble. So we decided to go left-arm orthodox with Pierre and Hosein.”

Furlonge praised the batting of Pooran throughout the tournament. The captain made just eight on Saturday but had been brilliant up until that point.

“The captain amounted 343 runs, only bettered by Powell’s 346 runs, which I think was fantastic. Pooran and all the batsmen, young Ottley, Bravo – we saw the Bravo of old – (and the) bowling of Narine and Gabriel was excellent.

“For me, it was a good all-round performance. It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t move one step closer.”

Pooran blamed the defeat on batsmen's inability to assess the game properly. He believes the team was 50 runs short of a good total.

He said, “We saw Yannic Cariah there in the end, he and Akeal putting on a partnership, but we kept finding ways to get out, which obviously hurt us in the end.”

Several Red Force players have already departed Antigua en route to different locations to ply their trade at franchise tournaments.

Pooran and spinner Hosein left the Caribbean on Sunday bound for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ahead of the Abu Dhabi T10 League, which bowls off on Wednesday.

Pooran will captain Deccan Gladiators for the tournament’s sixth edition and Hosein will feature for the New York Strikers.

Fellow Red Force players Narine, Cariah, Jason Mohammed, Terrance Hinds, Kjorn Ottley, Amir Jangoo and Jyd Goolie were expected to arrive in Trinidad on Sunday night, ahead of their respective opening Dream XI T10 Blast matches at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Tarouba, on Monday.

After the Dream XI T10 Blast, Furlonge confirmed some TT players will travel north for the US Open in December.

Around December 12, Furlonge said, training resumes for the Cricket West Indies Four-Day Championship, which begins in February.


"Red Force coach laments ‘off day’ in Super50 final"

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