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T&T players hunt First Class title
T&T cricketers will go into action today against Guyana, knowing fully well that a good game would lead to their first Regional First Class title in eight years.
The last time T&T lifted the First Class title, current spinner Ricky Jaipaul was just 14 years old. Now they will look to him to assist in bringing home the crown.
Daren Ganga took this country to their last First Class title way back in 2006 and since then the Red Force has been successful in instant cricket—but not the format that matters.
However, all of that can change within the next few days, as the T&T boys are four days of good cricket away from being crowned First Class champions.
If they get past Guyana, they will claim the WICB President’s Trophy and will then enter into the semifinals to battle for the other title—the George Headley/Everton Weekes Trophy.
The T&T players want this title badly and what has made manager Manohar Ramsaran very happy is the fact that they have been the ones speaking about the history of the team and that they need this title badly.
Ramsaran said: “What was really good was the fact that I did not have to tell the boys that they need to correct this statistic of not winning the title for so many years. They have been the ones talking about it and they have been the ones saying that they want it badly and that they are going to fight for that title all the way.
“They have a fantastic chance of doing this and once they keep the focus they have shown throughout the season, over the next four days, the title will be going home with them.”
T&T currently leads the standings with 72 points from five matches and they are seven ahead of their closest rivals Barbados. The Bajans, who pipped T&T for the Nagico Super50 title will be coming up against second from bottom Leeward Islands, so T&T cannot depend on them to have a good game.
The title is in their hands and they need to go out and defeat the cellar placed Guyanese to lift the crown.
The Red Force has gotten the better of the Guyanese in eight of their last nine First Class matches, including three wins.
T&T has boosted their chances with returning West Indies World T20 batsman Lendl Simmons, while the Guyanese have been shaken with illness or injury sidelining key spinner Veerasammy Permaul and experienced batsman Assad Fudadin, with leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo and all-rounder Christopher Barnwell to replace them.
Interest will remain high as the top three teams entering the final round of matches—T&T, Windward Islands and Barbados—have all secured a place in the last four...but the last slot in the semifinals has come down to a straight shoot-out, when Combined Campuses & Colleges host Jamaica at the Three Ws Oval on the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies in Barbados.
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
Leewards 5 2 3 0 40
Guyana 5 0 4 1 21
T&T vs Guyana:
Providence Stadium, Guyana
Leeward Islands vs Barbados:
Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground
CCC vs Jamaica: Three Ws Oval
All matches start at 10 am
T&T: Adrian Barath, Evin Lewis, Darren Bravo, Jason Mohammed, Jonathan Augustus, Imran Khan, Steven Katwaroo (Wicketkeeper), Rayad Emrit (Captain), Shannon Gabriel, Amit Jaggernauth, Ricky Jaipaul, Marlon Richards, Lendl Simmons, Kelvin Williams (Coach), Manohar Ramsaran (Manager), Clinton Jeremiah (Trainer), Zephrinus Nicholas (Masseur)
GUYANA: Leon Johnson (Captain), Assad Fudadin, Amir Khan, Trevon Griffith, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Zaheer Mohamed, Ronsford Beaton, Anthony Bramble, Devendra Bishoo, Shimron Hetmyer, Ruan Johnson, Keon Joseph, Vishaul Singh