THE Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board has praised the performance of the national cricket team following their emphatic victory over Barbados on Saturday night in the final of the 2016 Nagico Super50 regional tournament at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port-of-Spain.
On the back of an innings of 97 runs by star batsman Darren Bravo, and an all-round bowling performance led by Rayad Emrit’s three-wicket haul, the Red Force clinched their second consecutive Super50 crown with a 72-run win in front of more than 7,000 home fans.
On Monday, president of the TTCB, Azim Bassarath, said that the cricketers should be complimented for their hard work, focus and commitment during the entire two-week competition during which they did not let their guard down.
He said the Super50 victory was a result of teamwork when everyone pulled together for the greater good of supporting each other and representing their nation with their best effort on the field.
“Words cannot adequately describe how proud the Red Force team has made cricket fans and the entire nation with their show of cricket excellence. The public too has been exceptional in their support during this campaign,” said Bassarath.
Left-hander Bravo was duly named “Man-of-the-Match” in the final for his superb knock, after joining the team last weekend following the West Indies tour of Australia. In this three innings for the team he scored 274 runs comprising scores of 82, 95, and 97 for a phenomenal average of 91.33.
Also singled out was Red Force debutant Jon Russ Jaggesar, an off-spinner who bagged 14 wickets, second in the tournament only to Suliaman Benn of the Barbados Pride, and who was instrumental in keeping the opposing batsmen in check throughout the series .
Bassarath said that despite the fact that the national squad was depleted because of injury and the unavailability of several key players, the team showed the depth of talent that currently exists in the national set-up.
He said Bravo and wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin joined the squad in the last week of the tournament, after the Test tour Down Under, and made an invaluable contribution in every match they played.
“I was impressed by the way the senior players pulled their weight and led by example as they did not disappoint in keeping the momentum going which had been established earlier in the tournament,” said Bassarath.
He said that the leadership qualities shown by Jason Mohammed should also be commended, as he did not shun his responsibilities and did put his best foot forward in the prevailing circumstances.
The cricket chief said the skipper was also given invaluable support by allrounder Rayad Emrit, who was one of the stand-out fast bowlers of the tournament, who along with opening batsman Evin Lewis showed that they had stepped up their game following a stint in the Bangladesh Premier League T20 prior to the Nagico Super50.
Bassarath also had encouraging words for Barbadian opening batsman Kyle Hope, selected by the Red Force as a franchise player and who fitted in perfectly with his adopted team, and never flinched even it was against his island of birth in the final.
Also coming in for high praise was the technical team comprising senior coach Gus Logie, a former outstanding West Indies player, his assistant Kelvin Williams, and no-nonsense manager Roland Sampath who all ensured that everything was done according to the book and the objectives of the team were realised.
He said not to be forgotten were stand-in wicketkeeper Stephen Katwaroo who also had an exceptional tournament behind the stumps and will be knocking on the doors of the selectors for some time to come, while Marlon Richards shows that he is game when required to play his part at any stage with bat or ball.
Bassarath also mentioned the contribution made by the Ottley brothers, Kjorn and Yannick, while he said spinner Imran Khan was also an integral part of the squad and the all will be counted on in the future to maintain the depth and strength of the resource pool.
“We are now setting our sights on the final phase of the Regional Four-day Tournament and are hoping that this early success can keep us in the hunt for at least a top three finish at the end of the season,” said Bassarath.