Manager Manohar Ramsaran says the national cricket team would not spend too much time enjoying the early success following their runaway 186-run win over the Windward Islands in their opening match of the four-day regional tournament on Sunday.
Behind a mesmerising spell of spin bowling from 20-year-old left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein, T&T defeated the Windwards inside three days at the Queen's Park Oval. Hosein ended with remarkable match figures of 11/67.
Ramsaran said the team was satisfied with its performance, but not elated, as the players know there was still a lot of work to be done. Ramsaran stated: "We had a job to do and we did that, the season has now started, we are satisfied but not elated." He spoke highly of Hosein's performance, saying that the team was proud of his efforts.
The manager said that fast bowler Shannon Gabriel also put in a creditable performance to back up the spinners, especially in the second innings. Gabriel's figures were 8-4-19-2, as the bowler generated good bounce and pace off the wicket.
The batting display by the top order is a bit of a concern at the moment for the Red Force. "We are still worried about the top order, we expect them to do better, " Ramsaran said. T&T was reduced to 17/2 in the first innings, followed by 8/2 in the second. Ramsaran was however pleased that Darren Bravo found some form in the second innings, scoring a patient 69 to take T&T's lead past the 300-run mark. "He fought it out, showed great character and determination that I am proud off."
Also putting in a valiant effort for the home team was all-rounder Yannic Cariah. T&T closed day two on 127/7 in its second innings, with an overall lead of 227. T&T needed someone to hold up the lower order to set the Windwards a challenging total. Cariah was the man, as he added 41 runs to his overnight eight not out to guide T&T to 210 all out. Chasing a massive 311 for victory, the Windwards folded for 124. Cariah also contributed a valuable 24 in the first innings.
Ramsaran thanked the die hard supporters for coming out, but is hoping for more support as the season goes along. "I expected more people to come out and support this young team, but it was good to see the die hard supporters."
T&T will train tomorrow and Thursday ahead of its third round match against the Leeward Islands, which bowls off on Friday at the Queen's Park Oval. The T&T/Leewards match will be a day/night affair, starting at 3 pm everyday. T&T received a first round bye.