Having secured their place in the last four of the Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 Cup with a six-wicket win over Guyana Jaguars on Saturday night, the hosts Trinidad and Tobago Red Force field a changed side when they take on CWI Emerging Players in their final Group B fixture at the Oval today.
Saturday’s victory guaranteed Imran Khan’s team of top spot in the group, regardless of today’s outcome, and the skipper did not rule out experimenting a bit in today’s match.
Khan hinted they might just give other players an opportunity but he added they still had some areas of concern, namely the fielding, their top order batting and the bowling towards the end of the innings.
Resolving those issues in time for the knock-out stage is certainly the priority for Khan and the team management. When asked about leaving out century-maker Jeremy Solozano to play an extra spinner against the Jaguars on Saturday, Khan replied: “It was a difficult call to make but we are trying to get the right combination, going into the semi-finals.”
Saturday’s Player of the Match, Darren Bravo, was also hoping all players would step up their game in the semi-finals.
“It is a matter of believing in myself but, as a team, we have some areas we need to improve; our fielding and our bowling needs to execute a lot better in the back end,” he added.
Not for the first time, Bravo took control of the run chase with Jason Mohammed in a 165-run stand after the top order had stuttered to 51-3 against the Jaguars.
“I think we need to get off to a better start at the top and that will give myself and Jason a bit more freedom in the middle overs but, having said that, we are senior players and we strive on that responsibility, and I think it is working out for us at the moment,” the left-hander said.
The Red Force have already cemented their place on top of the Group B standings with one match to play but, having lost to the Emerging Players earlier in the tournament, Khan and company will want to make amends today.
By virtue of Saturday night’s win, the Red Force now sits at the head of the pack on 24 points while the Emerging Players are on 18 and the Jaguars remain on 16.
The equation is simple for the Emerging Players. They just need to win to go through to the semis. It will be a bit more complicated for the Jaguars who need to win their match against the USA today and hope for a Red Force victory in order to go through to the semis.
The semi-finals will be played in Trinidad on Thursday and Friday and the tournament concludes on Sunday with the final at the Queen’s Park Oval.