After witnessing the first 20 minutes of the contest against Mexico, it would have been difficult to recognise the difference between the two teams.
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Kowlessar: T&T youngsters proving their worth
T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) second vice-president Lalman Kowlessar is thrilled with the youngsters performances for the national cricket team in the regional four-day tournament, stating they have rose to the occasion.
T&T currently lead the seven-team standings on 72 points, winning four and losing one of its matches, with one round to play. The top four teams will advance to the semifinal round. Yesterday, Kowlessar spoke highly of the young players in the team that have filled the gap left by Dwayne Bravo, Ravi Rampaul, Sunil Narine and others who are not available. Many of the first team players were on West Indies duty in the T20 World Cup and are now preparing for the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Kowlessar commended wicket-keeper Steven Katwaroo and allrounder Akeal Hosein for their efforts. He said: “They grabbed the opportunity that was given to them. Katwaroo is a good wicket-keeper and his batting is coming along. Akeal Hosein has performed, but unfortunately he succumbed to injury.”
After scoring a century against the Leeward Islands in round three, Hosein picked up a leg injury and has been out of the team since. Kowlessar also made special mention of left-arm spinner Ricky Jaipaul, who took 4/56 on debut against the Combined Colleges and Campuses (CCC) in round five, helping the team to a ten-wicket win.
The T&T spin bowlers grabbed most of the wickets in the first few rounds of the tournament, but the fast-bowling trio of Shannon Gabriel, Marlon Richards and captain Rayad Emrit have stepped up their game.
Kowlessar said, “In the last two games Gabriel has shown he is a West Indian bowler.”
The away form may be a concern for T&T, as it was crushed by an innings and 160 runs in Barbados, the team’s only match on the road this season. The TTCB second vice-president believes T&T should have played another spinner in Barbados. Spin bowler Sulieman Benn, who took eight wickets in the match, is considered by Kowlessar as one of the best spinners in the Caribbean.
The T&T batting has been inconsistent this season and Kowlessar believes the return of opener Lendl Simmons will be a plus. “Simmons will of course strengthen our batting and I hope he does well in Guyana.”
T&T will look to end the preliminary stage on a high when it faces Guyana at the Providence Stadium in Guyana in round seven, starting tomorrow at 10 am.
Team P W L D Pts
T&T 5 4 1 0 72
Windwards 6 3 2 1 65
Barbados 5 3 1 1 65
CCC 5 2 2 1 46
Jamaica 5 2 3 0 44
Leeward Islands 5 2 3 0 40
Guyana 5 0 4 1 21