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Ramdin, Hosein in line for semifinal
T&T is expected to be strengthened by the inclusion of wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin and allrounder Akeal Hosein for Saturday’s regional semifinal against the Windward Islands. Ramdin was with the West Indies team at the World T20 tournament then sidelined due to a thumb injury but once he is fit, he will be in the team. Hosein, who suffered a leg injury earlier in the season, returned to action for Queen’s Park last weekend and according to manager Manohar Ramsaran should also return to action.
T&T finished second in the league competition after rain ruined a chance to go past the 82 points with which winners Barbados finished the tournament. The Red Force had to settle for a draw against Guyana, who were 80/3 in the search for 225 runs for victory when rain curtailed the day’s play after just 27 overs. The eight points from the match left T&T on 80 points.
Ramsaran felt certain that T&T would have brought home the WICB President’s trophy, had a full day’s play been possible. The manager said: “Strangely enough the morale was high, I firmly believe we would have won the match.” Ramsaran said the wicket was not the best on which to bat. T&T lost several front line players to West Indian duty, leaving Ramsaran with a youthful crop of players. “I think they really came to the party, some of the players did not do what we expected, but they did well.”
Ramdin, Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo and Ravi Rampaul were among the players missing as they were competing at the World T20 tournament in Bangladesh. T&T can still win silverware this season, as they face the Windwards in the semifinal for a chance to claim the George Headley/Everton Weekes trophy. Although T&T crushed the Windwards by 186 runs in the league, the team will not take the match lightly. “We cannot take it for granted, we need to treat it like a semis.” The T&T/Windward Islands match bowls off on Saturday at the Queen’s Park Oval. Jamaica and Barbados will face off in the other semifinal at Kensington Oval, Barbados. The top four teams in the league competition earned the right to play for the Headley/Weekes trophy.