Emrit wants T&T to kick on after win
KINGSTOWN, ST VINCENT - Rayad Emrit wants his Trinidad and Tobago men to kick on this season after their come from behind 14-run victory against the Windward Islands.
Helped by a Yannic Cariah five-wicket haul, T&T forced an almighty Windwards collapse in the space of 21 runs to secure victory in their first Regional Super50 match of the season in Round II.
It was Emrit's first outing as T&T captain this season as Denesh Ramdin left the team for international duty. Only days before, the 'Trinis' suffered a humiliating 10-wicket defeat at the hands of the same opponents inside three days in the Regional 4-Day Tournament.
The change in captaincy didn't seem to be working for T&T as they were restricted to 216/5 from their 50 overs. Things could have been a lot worst had Jason Mohammed and Ramdin's young wicket-keeping replacement, Nicholas Pooran not put on a 63-run sixth wicket partnership.
Then, the Windwards appeared to be cruising to victory at 181/3, until Cariah forced a collapse. The Windwards were bowled out in the last over for 202.
The effects of the 4-Day loss though still lingers within the T&T dressing room, and Emrit will like to see their Super50 victory begin eradicating that. He said, "I think this is a big booster for the team. It's also for me, as captain, to start off the season with a win. It's going to go miles into the season."
But the team spirit has been low in the Trinidad camp when it comes to domestic cricket over the years. In fact, the way in which the team celebrated their come-from-behind win was as though they had just won the Super50 trophy. Emrit said, "The guys are extremely happy. I can't tell you how ecstatic the guys are. From 180/3 to 202 all out, it's a miraculous victory, and I must say well done to the guys. For me, the team spirit is there, but we needed this victory to show it, and I can guarantee you this victory will go a long way."
All of the excitement generated by the victory though was triggered by the young players in the team, who have just come in. More than years gone by, T&T have more younger players in their team this year than the past few seasons.
Emrit hopes that their energy and curiosity can shine through on the field, while also helping the more experienced players to step up. He continued, "Coming here with a young team, we know we senior guys had to pull our weight. Unfortunately, we didn't get the score that we wanted, but that's cricket. We thought that we should have gotten 250, but we backed ourselves, we backed our bowlers to do the job and fortunately in the end we pulled through."
With a new captain sailing T&T's ship, Emrit is on a voyage to restore his country's confidence in domestic cricket. He admitted, "Our batting has been a cause for concern for the pass three to four years. We've been trying to work it out but there hasn't been much senior guys on the team. Lendl Simmons, who is now our most senior guy needs to step up now, take the mantle on his back and start scoring the big runs. Barath is look well, Lewis decent, Jason in the middle has been great for us, but I want the senior batters to step up and be making the runs."
The T&T team will meet another tricky opposition in the Leeward Islands in Round III of the Regional season.