SUPER50 Coach Talk: Hurricanes getting regrouped & ready to tackle the semis
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Stuart Williams said his side had shown improvement in the 50 overs-a-side format during the group stage of the Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 Cup.
As they flew out of the St. Kitts capital early on Monday to prepare to play in the second semi-final on Friday, Williams said there was still work to be done, if they are to reach the final and win the title.
Hurricanes confirmed their place in the semi-finals of the Super50 on Sunday, after they held their nerves in the face of a brutal hundred from Jamaica Scorpions captain Rovman Powell to clinch a 13-run win in their final Group A game at the Conaree Cricket Centre.
The Hurricanes finished the group with six wins out of their eight games, which Williams hailed as a significant accomplishment, considering the other teams in the group, principally the Scorpions, group winners Barbados Pride and defending champions Combined Campuses & Colleges Marooners.
Williams spoke to CWI Media following the game and said his side needed to be more clinical, if they are to fly home with the Clive Lloyd Trophy…
On qualifying for the semi-finals:
First of all, I have to congratulate my team. We worked hard throughout the whole group stage and we deserve to go to Trinidad for the semi-finals. Hard luck to Jamaica. Well played to Rovman Powell. That was just excellent batting.
On Rovman Powell’s innings:
I don’t want to go too far back. I have seen quite a few hundreds in this tournament – Devon Thomas made a flawless hundred in our first game and Kieran Powell also made a hundred in the first game against the Jamaicans. I also saw Kyle Mayers. But this one has been the hundred for Group A – by a distance.
On his team’s performance in the group stage:
This was the group of death. Every game was so important. To come out of this group stage, having played against Jamaica Scorpions, Barbados Pride and the defending champions CCC Marooners, I think we should hold our heads high. We won six games out of eight and I am quite happy with that.
On the pitch conditions:
We were blessed with good weather. We did not have any games rained out. Kudos to the host board, the St. Kitts Cricket Association. They did an excellent job. We know Warner Park is an international venue and we expected the standard there to be high. But the conditions at the Conaree Cricket Cricket, the pitches have been excellent for batting, the batsmen got value for their runs, we saw some good bowling and some good games.
On areas for improvement heading into the semi-finals:
There are always areas for improvement. We still want to be the best fielding team and we are way off when it comes to that. Situational awareness let us down a few times. We need to tighten up on bowling certain lines and lengths and following plans and executing. We have quite a few areas in which to improve. We have a few days to go before our semi-final (on Friday) and we will try and get it right.
On his team’s bowling in the group stage:
Let me start with Sheno Berridge. He is the leading bowler in the tournament (now has 17 wickets). He has had over 50 wickets in the past two seasons in the West Indies Championship (4-Day), but this is his first full Super50 Cup season, and we asked him to lead the attack. He has done it brilliantly and has an opportunity to get more. Quinton Boatswain has been excellent for us. We had Rahkeem Cornwall at the start of the tournament and he is a very difficult player to replace. We said we wanted an X-factor. We could have gone for someone like for like, but we wanted an X-factor, and Boatswain’s pace took us over the edge in a few of the games. But it was hard work for the bowlers in these conditions and they all did well to pull us through.
On making the adjustment from St. Kitts to Trinidad:
We have catered for it in terms of our squad selection. We catered for going all the way. We have a good squad and any one of them can put up their hand and play a match-winning role.
On whether the Hurricanes brand has been revived:
We have been playing well in the West Indies Championship (4-Day) over the past few years and long may that continue, as we have the next Championship season forthcoming. But we had to improve our 50 overs-a-side play and I think we put our hands up in this group stage. We had eight games in the ‘group of death’ and we won six, so we want to keep improving. We want to see it in every game. We do not want to sit our laurels. We want to keep moving forward.
On rating his team’s performance in the group stage out of 10:
I would rate our performance 7-1/2. We lost two games against the Pride, where we played the second game really badly, and the first, we had a chance to win. There were certain areas and certain games, where we were not clinical enough, and I am going to mark hard, so it’s 7-1/2 and that’s still a high mark.
Source: CWI Media