Really, there should be a limit on how long after Carnival you can continue to talk about it uselessly, but the rabble babbles on.
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Lewis, Mohammed likely for Hawksbills clash today
Red Steel is expected to make two changes to their starting 11 today, when they come up against the Antigua Hawksbills at North South in Antigua from noon. Fresh from losing their last game in the Super Over to the Guyana Amazon Warriors, Dwayne Bravo’s team is expected to go into the clash without Pakistani Nasir Jamshed and Irish all-rounder Kevin O’Brien. Both internationals have been out of form so far and the selectors are leaning to go with T&T middle order batsman Jason Mohammed and Jamaican opener Kenar Lewis.
Lewis, a hard-hitting opener, is expected to start at the top of the order with Evin Lewis. With the pitch expected to assist stroke play the hard-hitting batsman comes into the equation. Mohammed, who is yet to play a match, is expected to replace O’Brien and give the team that added option of a slow bowler. Meanwhile, Red Steel suffered a blow a couple days ago with the news that left-arm seamer Delorn Johnson has been ruled out of the tournament with a shin injury. T&T youth spinner Derone Davis seems the likely option, although consideration may also be given to Yannick Ottley. Bravo, while pleased with his team’s showing thus far, is calling on his men to up their game for this clash.
He said: “I cannot fault the guys after the fighting spirit they showed in the last game. While I am disappointed that we lost the match, I have to take into account that the guys played with that great fighting spirit that is needed. “It is a long tournament and this loss is not expected to hurt us once we can learn quickly from it and move on. There were a lot of positives coming out of the last game and we need to take that forward with us. There are some areas that we need to tighten up in and we intend to work on that, so that we are more competitive in the future matches.” Red Steel has won one and lost one game so far in the tournament. They have nine matches in the preliminary to play and will be looking to end up in the top four.
Coach of the team Simon Helmot says his team needs to stay the course until the end to win matches. “Focus is a big thing for us. What we have seen so far is that we need to stay focused to the very end to win matches. The guys are doing the right things but they need to do it more consistently to get the results.” He was high in praise of young wicketkeeper batsman Nicolas Pooran. The left-hander stroked a 17-ball 37 to get the Red Steel back on track against the Guyana Amazon Warriors but then missed a runout and dropped a catch in the final over to send the game into a Super Over. “We cannot be too hard on Pooran. Without him we would not have even reached the Super Over. I think he is a very good prospect not only for Red Steel but also for West Indies and he would be all the better for the experience gained in the last game,” Helmot said.
Red Steel: Dwayne Bravo (capt), Ross Taylor, Darren Bravo, Samuel Badree, Sulieman Benn, Kevon Cooper, Nasir Jamshed, Kevin O’Brien, Evin Lewis, Nicholas Pooran, Shannon Gabriel, Fidel Edwards, Jason Mohammed, Kenar Lewis.
Antigua Hawksbills: Marlon Samuels (capt), Justin Athanaze, Carlos Brathwaite, Rahkeem Cornwall, Sheldon Cottrell, Miguel Cummins, Ben Dunk, Brad Hodge, David Hussey, Danza Hyatt, Ben Laughlin, Orlando Peters, Saeed Ajmal, Devon Thomas, Shacaya Thomas, Garvin Tonge, Thisera Perera and Keiran Powell.