Red Force to focus on opening stance, recovery over two-week break

TT Red Force coach 
David Furlonge  -
TT Red Force coach David Furlonge -

RED Force coach David Furlonge plans to use the two-week West Indies Championship break to improve on his team’s opening partnership and have his players recover from any niggling injuries sustained over the past three rounds.

The Trinidad and Tobago team are currently fifth in the standings with 27.6 points and hold a record of one win, one loss and a no result.

With four rounds to go before a winner is declared, and their next match against Windward Islands Volcanoes scheduled for March 13, Furlonge wants to capitalise on the break to bolster their chances of ending an over 15-year West Championship title drought.

Their single victory against West Indies Academy in round two, Furlonge said, was highly dependent on their second innings opening partnership between Vikash Mohan (54) and Cephas Cooper (28).

And despite the opening pair failing with the bat in the first innings against Leewards in round three, they stepped up in the second - Cooper (36) and Mohan (25) - and Red Force were able to post 342.

However, TT went on to lose this match, mainly because of their shabby 137 first innings knock. TT’s first match against Guyana was abandoned owing to rain, despite them getting to 215/4.

Furlonge is pleased with his players’ bowling and fielding performance so far but wants more from his top-order batsmen.

“With the batting, it’s the starts. If you look at the first game, even though we didn’t get a start in terms of runs, the two openers occupied the crease, so by the time the other batsmen got there the moisture was off the wicket, so it enabled Jason Mohammed to get a century,” he said. “The next game was similar as we got an opening start. The first innings against Leewards we got both openers out cheaply and we stuttered in the middle. In the second innings both openers gave us a start of over 50 runs and we went on to make close to 350 runs. So, I think we need to look at that opening position. We need to get positive starts there and I think we will do well. We would have covered bowling and fielding well.” After three rounds, Windward Islands Volcanoes remain unbeaten and lead the standings on 62.2 pts. Leeward Islands Hurricanes are second (45.6 pts), with two wins and a loss, Barbados Pride third (43.8 pts) with a similar win record and Jamaica Scorpions fourth (29.6 pts), with one win and two losses.

TT are fifth while defending champions Guyana Harpy Eagles are sixth (26.4 pts), Wes Indies Academy seventh (24 pts) and Combined Campuses and Colleges eighth (14.6 pts).

With four rounds to go, and their March 13 tie up against the table toppers, Furlonge remains quietly confident they can still pull off a championship win, or at least finish in the top two.

“I think we still have an opportunity to win the tournament or at least finish in the first two. We have to do well in our last four games. We start back training tomorrow (Wednesday) and continue until the next game starts.”

He also confirmed there were some injuries within the squad but they should be sorted out before the tourney resumes.

“There are few fellas injured now and they are going to be rested from club cricket this weekend. We have informed the clubs of their unavailability. The physio and doctors said they should ready to go by next week.”

WI Championship Round Four Matches (March 13-16):

TT Red Force vs Windward Islands Volcanoes - Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad

Combined Campuses and Colleges vs Leeward Islands Hurricanes - Sir Frank Worrell Memorial Ground, Trinidad

Guyana Harpy Eagles vs Barbados Pride - Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua

West Indies Academy vs Jamaica Scorpions - Sabina Park, Jamaica


"Red Force to focus on opening stance, recovery over two-week break"

More in this section