SUPER50: Captains focused on sticking to basics ahead of semi-finals
By Akeem Greene in Trinidad
The Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 Cup has reached it penultimate round of matches and the various captains are quietly confident of their chances, once they continue to execute the basics of the game correctly.
On Thursday, Group A toppers Barbados Pride will face Group B runners-up, West Indies Emerging Players, while on Friday, Group B table-toppers Trinidad and Tobago Red Force will battle second place finishers in Group A, Leeward Islands Hurricanes. Both matches start at 13:30h at the Queen’s Park Oval.
Three of the captains spoke on Wednesday afternoon at the Hilton Hotel and Conference Centre.
According to Jonathon Carter, captain of the 2017 champions, Barbados Pride, they have a tough task in getting tuned to the conditions, given they only had one practice session after spending their entire preliminary rounds in St. Kitts.
Carter, who has the experience of playing international cricket, further stated they are not reading too much into the buoyed performances of the Emerging Players, but rather simply seeking to focus on ensuring they execute their objectives.
“I try to get the guys to focus on that said day and play the cricket that we want to; we try to stick to our game plan. We know the Emerging Players are guys who are out to showcase their talent and make a name for themselves. It means at any day they can be a very dangerous team, so we don’t underestimate those guys. I wouldn’t say (we are) wary, but we are aware,” the left-handed batsman said.
Opposing skipper, Yannic Cariah stated, “We are happy to be in the semi-finals. We have our own destiny in our hands and we started the tournament with good cricket and we want to continue those ways.”
After a bright start, Emerging Players have not won in their last three matches, losing two, and the other being rained out. In their last match they were routed for 78 and lost by 10 wickets to Red Force.
Had Guyana Jaguars defeated United States of America, the budding talents of West Indies cricket would have been knocked out. However, they have another chance to showcase their talent.
Hurricanes’ only two losses were to the Pride and skipper Jahmar Hamilton believes as they come up against a powerful Red Force, who have only lost one match, they must continue doing their keys to success on Friday.
“It is about backing our skill; it is different conditions but it is all about backing your skill. The team plan is very important. We have to enjoy it, make it easy and most importantly respect our opponent.”
Interestingly, out-of-favour West Indies opener, Kieran Powell, leads the batting charts for tournament with 464 runs at average of 66.28 after eight matches. The Hurricanes opener has two tons, the highest score being 121* and two half-centuries.
For the opposition, another player currently out of the West Indies set-up, Darren Bravo, is just behind with 447 at an astonishing average of 111.75, with a century and four fifties.
Hurricanes’ pacer Sheeno Berridge has the tag of leading wicket-taker with 17 scalps, tied with Jamaican Scorpions’ Oshane Thomas. Emerging Players’ seamer Keon Harding has 16, along with Pride’s experienced off-spinner Ashley Nurse.
Meanwhile, Khan said he was happy to see the senior players stand up and perform for Red Force which has allowed them to have just one loss in the preliminary phase.
The leg-spinner felt they need to polish up on their fielding since it is important to take all chances in crucial moments.
Barbados Pride: Jonathan Carter (captain), Joshua Bishop, Leniko Boucher, Miguel Cummins, Chemar Holder, Nicholas Kirton, Kyle Mayers, Zachary McCaskie, Ashley Nurse, Kjorn Ottley, Roshon Primus, Javon Searles, Shamar Springer, Tevyn Walcott.
West Indies Emerging Players: Yannic Cariah (Captain), Kimani Melius (Vice-Captain), Camarie Boyce, Roland Cato, Joshua Da Silva, Dominic Drakes, Justin Greaves, Keon Harding, Leonardo Julian, Jermaine Levy, Ashmead Nedd, Gidron Pope, Jayden Seales and Kevin Sinclair.
Trinidad and Tobago Red Force: Imran Khan (Captain), Yannick Ottley (V-Capt), Kyle Hope, Jeremy Solozano, Jason Mohammed, Tion Webster, Odean Smith, Anderson Phillip, Steven Katwaroo, Jon Ross Jaggesar, Keagan Simmons, Akeil Hosein, Darren Bravo, Isaiah Rajah.
Leeward Islands Hurricanes: Jahmar Hamilton (Captain), Montcin Hodge, Keacy Carty and Yannick Leonard, Devon Thomas, Sheeno Berridge, Jeremiah Louis, Akeem Saunders and Terrance Warde, Kezron Archibald, Kieran Powell, Jason Campbell, Amir Jangoo, Quinton Boatswain.