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Red Force look to stop Jamaicans
A confident Trinidad and Tobago will battle Jamaica in the first semi-final of the Nagico Regional Super50 tournament today from 2pm at the Queen’s Park Oval. Yesterday, members of the T&T team, affectionately referred to as the Red Force, were hard at work and manager of the team Manohar Ramsaran said the players were ready for today’s battle. He said: “The boys have been working very hard at their game and they have been very focused on the task at hand.” Without sounding over confident, Ramsaran said they were quietly optimistic, but more importantly, they were aware of their opposition. “The boys are quietly confident going into the match. However, they are aware that the Jamaicans are strong and they know that they have to be at the top of their game to advance to the finals,” Ramsaran said.
Ramsaran noted that all the players were all fit and there were no injury concerns. “This means that the selectors will have a full squad from which to choose.” As to whether there will be changes, Ramsaran said that decision would be made at the team meeting which was held last night. T&T reached the semi-finals by finishing second to Barbados in group B. They lost one and won two of their preliminary round matches, while the Jamaicans topped Group A with three wins in their three matches. T&T will hope that home conditions work in their favour, as the pitch is expected to favour the slower bowlers. At the start of the tournament the pitch had more pace and bounce but with the dry weather currently being experienced and the regular use of the pitch, it has slowed down. Ramsaran said the pitch was looking good and he was hoping that it will play much better than in the last two matches.
“The pitch is looking pretty good. They are using the one to the east of the square and this was playing well all the time. We are hoping for a good pitch and for our bowlers to utilize it properly.”
Another factor that may assist the locals is the fact that a huge crowd is expected to show for the game. Checks with the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) ticket office revealed that 75 per cent of the tickets for the match have already been sold, guaranteeing a good crowd. Tomorrow the second semi-finals featuring Barbados and Guyana will be played at the same venue.
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: 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).
JAMAICA: David Bernard Jr (captain), Nikita Miller (vice captain), Andre Russell, Carlton Baugh Jr (wicket-keeper), Tamar Lambert, Andrew Richardson, Horace Miller, John Campbell, Jermaine Blackwood, Andre McCarthy, Sheldon Cottrell, Jerome Taylor, Nkrumah Bonner, Kenar Lewis; Junior Bennett (coach).