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Bravo calls on Tobago for support
A good crowd is expected to turn up at Shaw Park, Tobago, this morning to see the national cricketers in action, as they come up against the Leeward Islands in a must win match. Both teams have lost their respective opening matches in the Nagico Regional Super50 tournament and they will be keen to get into the winning column today. Yesterday the Red Force received a welcomed boost when the Sunil Narine walked into their camp. The mystery spinner was sadly missed in the first match when T&T bowlers were put to the sword by the Barbadian batsmen. Skipper Dwayne Bravo is overjoyed by Narine’s return: “One of the best players in the world coming into our set up must be tremendous for us,” said Bravo. “Having Sunil around is a psychological boost for us and we sorely missed him in the first game. However, we don’t have a one man team and everyone is expected to perform well.”
Bravo is expecting the fans from the sister isle to come to the party and be the proverbial 12th man. “It’s been a long time since we have played cricket in Tobago and we are not sure what to expect. “What we know is that the fans would come out and support us on the day. We are hoping to have a good game because it is very important. “Hopefully we get good conditions and a good cricket pitch because we aim to entertain our fans across there.” T&T went down in their opener but there are many things from that match that the skipper wants to take into this game. “We did good things in the last game and we are going to take these things into the game against the Leewards. We played one of the better teams in the tournament and took it to the end. Jonathan Carter, Dwayne Smith and Sulieman Benn had a good game for them and on the day they were better.” Bravo explained that the move to send in Ravi Rampaul against Barbados was a collective one. “We made a team decision in the end Denesh Ramdin and I thought that because Ravi is left handed and Benn was bowling so good to the right handers, we should send him in.”
The move did not pay off as Rampaul made just three and Ramdin who came in lower down remained unbeaten on 48. Bravo said Ramdin more than likely would revert to his original number six position. “We will play it by air because we are a flexible team but more than likely we will have the same settled order.” Bravo ended by saying that they would not take the Leewards lightly. “We respect all teams despite their history. They have lost as well and would want to rebound. Any team that plays against T&T raise their game. We have set huge standards over the years and they want to beat us badly.” Chairman of the organising committee for the matches Azim Bassarath said yesterday that everything is in place for the match and it should be a great time for the fans in Tobago. The match bowls off at 9 am.
Teams: T&T: Dwayne Bravo (captain), Adrian Barath, Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons, Darren Bravo, Jason Mohammed, Denesh Ramdin (wicket-keeper), Rayad Emrit, Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul, Imran Khan, Yannick Ottley, Shannon Gabriel, Kevon Cooper; Kelvin Williams (coach).
LEEWARD ISLANDS: Kieran Powell (captain), Devon Thomas (vice captain/wicket-keeper), Justin Athanaze, Lionel Baker, Quinton Boatswain, Rahkeem Cornwall, Jahmar Hamilton, Montcin Hodge, Sylvester Joseph, Anthony Martin, Mali Richards, Gavin Tonge, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kelbert Walters; Ridley Jacobs (coach)