Trinidad and Tobago cricketers crash to defeat

TT Red Force skipper Darren Bravo tosses his bat in frustration after being caught out against the Guyana Harpy Eagles in the  West Indies Four Day Championships at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, on Saturday. - Lincoln Holder
TT Red Force skipper Darren Bravo tosses his bat in frustration after being caught out against the Guyana Harpy Eagles in the West Indies Four Day Championships at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, on Saturday. - Lincoln Holder


David Furlonge must be a disappointed man.

For the second season he’s the head coach of the TT cricket team. However, this year, he’s also the chairman of selectors. In an earlier article I criticised this move by the TT Cricket Board.

Playing their first game at home this season at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, South Trinidad, their team revealed many errors that included batting technique, pace and spin, fielding lapses and limp bowling that lacked positivity.

The captaincy decisions were vague at best and ought to have been more encouraging, with a courageous and affirmative approach. Darren Bravo didn’t seem suitable or convincing for the role.

The determination of a team playing to win was not apparent. On the field there was no urgency, while the batsmen were very unsure of themselves. It was patently obvious that one partner was coaching the other. The captain, even in the middle of an over, could be seen leaving his crease to walk down the pitch to the other batsman to offer advice. It is a cricket game, for goodness’ sake, and all that only interrupts the flow of play.

As to the game itself, there were a couple of surprises. I was puzzled by the omission of Khary Pierre. He is a fine cricketer. Being a left-arm orthodox spinner, he would have added variety to the bowling. He possesses an excellent temperament, and is a top-class fielder in any position and a safe catcher.


The young medium-pace bowler Justin Manick is a promising cricketer who was badly used by the skipper. He needed a confidence build-up from his captain, especially on his debut at this level. He’s a promising prospect, not only in his medium-pace bowling but also in his batting.

However, he is not quite ready and may have been pushed too soon. One for the future!

The toss was won by Bravo and he put the Guyanese in.

I believe that in a two-innings match the captain who wins the toss, all things being equal, and sends in the other, has no confidence in his batsmen.

Some suggest it’s the grass on the pitch and think because of that, the bowlers will hold the advantage. Then there are those who complain of too much moisture in the wicket, again, believing that bowlers will benefit.

But batting first and scoring one’s runs up front is more beneficial for the batting captain, for he then has the opportunity to control the game with whatever runs he has on the board.

If it’s a low score, one can set defensive fields, and if a high score, one’s bowling and field-placing is more in an attacking mode.

However one looks at it, the team that bats first controls the game. If sent in, it means they are expected to make a maximum of 200 runs.

I don’t want to over-simplify the point, but offer it to those who want to think. It is the reason that opening batsmen need special techniques and skills to deal with batting on fresh wickets to fast and medium-pace bowlers using a brand-new ball, with its shine and hardness, extracting high bounce and speed off the pitch, plus swing.

Guyana looked the better prepared team throughout the game; though one thought the home team, with their knowledge and experience of ground and pitch conditions, would have a much better second innings, it was not to be. Actually, it was very much the same as the first innings, except that the lower order approached batting in a professional manner.

Bravo played with some authority and supplied a glimpse of what he can really do when he’s in the mood. It’s a pity that he’s such a moody batsman. He scored a masterful 95.

The opening batsmen failed yet again and didn’t seem to have the consistency needed to give the middle order a decent start. Jeremy Solozano and Keegan Simmons are far better batsmen than they showed in this game. Amir Jangoo batted intelligently.

However, the middle order crumbled and the game was lost.

The run-out of Jyd Goolie to an obvious leg bye and the dismissal of Tion Webster, to his misjudgment of a well flighted delivery that crashed into his stumps when he refused to offer a stroke, were just examples of cricket of a lamentable quality.


"Trinidad and Tobago cricketers crash to defeat"

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