Darren Bravo

LAID PLATFORM: Trinidad Red Force captain Darren Bravo drives along the ground during his top-score knock of 133 against the Leeward Islands Hurricanes during their second round CWI Regional Four-Day Championship, at the Brian Lara Cricket Stadium in Tarouba, on Friday.

Trinidad and Tobago Red Force skipper Darren Bravo said his team’s performance against the Leeward Hurricanes was nothing short of “clinical” and that the innings and 168-run victory in their second round West Indies Championship four-day fixture will give them a great boost of confidence as they go on the road against defending champions Guyana Jaguars this week.

For the second time in as many weeks, Bravo praised the work of his batsmen as they piled up 552 for nine declared with the red Force skipper leading the charge with a top score of 133 and Terrance Hinds hitting an entertaining unbeaten 102.

The Hurricanes were dismissed for 186 and 198 with Akeal Hosein grabbing eight wickets (two for 32 and six for 62) in the match and pacer Odean Smith taking five (four for 51 and one for 17).

“It was a much better performance indeed,” said Bravo, comparing the team’s performance from their drawn opening encounter against the Jamaica Scorpions a week earlier.

“I think we were clinical in all aspects of the game even though we put down a few catches here and there. That is definitely something we need to keep working on but all in all I am happy with the effort and I guess we deserved to win.”

While the Hurricanes would have been criticised after opting to bat first in bowler-friendly conditions on the first day, Bravo said he would have probably made the same call.

“To be honest we definitely wanted to bat first but thought the manner in which we went about bowling in the first innings after losing the toss and the attitude of the guys was tremendous. We picked up wickets with the new ball and that was key,” Bravo explained.

In terms of the Red Force batting, which has been impressive in the first two matches with four centuries from four different batsmen, Bravo said he was happy to see his players putting a high price on their wickets.

“So far so good. It is just a matter of trying to tell them to take responsibility each and every single time they walk out to bat for Trinidad and Tobago, so I am happy to see the guys not giving their wickets away,” said Bravo.

Of his own century, Bravo said: “It is a good feeling. For me it was a just a matter of taking responsibility and trying to bat for long as possible.

“My intent in this game was to be a bit more positive than before. I knew they had a very good bowling line-up as well. I didn’t want Alzarri (Joseph) to get into the game too much with the ball and we knew he would have been their trump card,” Bravo said.

The victory took the Red Force to the top of the standings after two rounds and the Red Force skipper wants his players to maintain their intensity and consistency as they go on the road against the Jaguars, who fell to the Barbados Pride over the weekend.

“We know it is going to be a tough challenge leaving your shores to play in foreign conditions but having said that, the guys should be confident coming off a win and coming off two very good games,” said Bravo.

“We will go there with some level of confidence but we know we definitely need to play good and proper cricket in all facets of the game. We will try our best and see how things go,” he added.


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