The Trinidad and Tobago Red Force skipper Rayad Emrit was pleased with the fight shown by his players in their come-from-behind victory over the Leeward Islands on Monday but insisted that they still have a lot of work to do especially where their first innings effort is concerned.
The Red Force said their first innings batting has not clicked so far in the competition and that is their main area of concern ahead of their home game against Jamaica bowling off on Friday at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain.
T&T were dismissed for 96 in their first innings against the Barbados Pride and then 130 against the Leeward Islands and in both instances it almost cost them the match. Against the Pride, they were forced to follow on before rain on the final day helped them salvage a draw.
Against the Leewards, a spark of brilliance from leg-spinner Imran Khan, who took ten wickets in the match, brought them back from the brink of defeat to eventually clinch a six-wicket win on the final day.
Not helping their cause against the Leewards was the absence of opening batsman Evin Lewis who sat out the match with slight groin injury. He should be back for the Jamaica clash but at the same time the Red Force will have to do without all-rounder Yannic Cariah who will miss this weekend’s match with a fractured toe which he suffered during the Leewards match.
Speaking about their performance against the Leewards, Emrit said: “Obviously it was a disappointing first innings with the bat. I think we really didn’t apply ourselves on a placid wicket but in the second innings, the way we bowled really brought us back in the game and that was good to see.”
“Dismissing them for 130 runs changed the game for us and the then Yannick Ottley and Jason Mohammed set up a big victory for us. Yannick I thought played a really matured innings and Jason looks like he is coming back form,” added Emrit.
“Imran is a seasoned campaigner and we have come to expect these things from him. He has been one of our leading wicket takers and he brought us back into the game but I still think some of the bowlers need to step up. We can’t depend on Imran alone to do all the work,” Emrit explained.
Despite his team’s poor first innings batting efforts so far in the tournament, Emrit is confident they can turn it around. “We scored 130 against the Leewards and 96 against Barbados…it is like a trend now but we got things right in the second innings and the batsmen looked a lot better and I think it had a lot to do with shot selection,” he said.
“I think if we apply ourselves and try to occupy the crease a little longer then the runs will come. The coach and myself have been talking to the guys and hopefully we will get things right when we play against Jamaica this weekend,” Emrit added. The Red Force squad for this weekend’s clash is expected to be finalised today.