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Lawrence: Red Force can surge but Khan must unleash Seales and Gabriel

“[…] While the Red Force team seems balanced, skipper Imran Khan could have utilised his impressive bowling attack far better. At times it seemed as though the West Indian fast bowling trio of Shannon Gabriel, Jayden Seales and Anderson Phillip were under-bowled.

“[…] Inexplicably, the two most senior players in the group, Gabriel and Seales, bowled just six and seven overs respectively [in the second innings]…”

Former Trinidad and Tobago allrounder Andre Lawrence reviews the T&T Red Force’s opening win over the Jamaica Scorpions and looks ahead to the Windward Islands Volcanoes

Photo: T&T Red Force captain Imran Khan (left) improvises to beat the leg-side field while Jamaica Scorpions wicketkeeper Romaine Morrison (centre) and slip fielder Jermaine Blackwood look on during West Indies Championship action in Tarouba on 12 February 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

Winning is always a confidence booster and the Red Force will feel upbeat as they head into Round 2 against the Windward Islands Volcanoes on Tuesday at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba, following their three-wicket victory over the Jamaica Scorpions. 

The Volcanoes suffered defeat at the hands of the Guyana Harpy Eagles in a final-day thriller, losing by just one wicket—mere minutes before the scheduled end of the match.

However, a more detailed match analysis suggests that the ‘new-look’ Red Force outfit will have to improve significantly if they are to gain success a second time around. They survived a major batting collapse in their second innings, losing seven wickets while chasing just 81 for victory and they also produced a very ordinary display of catching.

While the Red Force team seems balanced, skipper Imran Khan could have utilised his impressive bowling attack far better.

Photo: T&T Red Force pacer Jayden Seales sends down one of the deliveries with which he made an early breakthrough against the Jamaica Scorpions, dismissing opener Leroy Lugg in his second over on Day 1 of the West Indies Championship in Tarouba on 9 February 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

At times, it seemed as though the West Indian fast bowling trio of Shannon Gabriel, Jayden Seales and Anderson Phillip were under-bowled.

In the second innings, Phillip looked tired during a lengthy spell which earned him five very expensive second innings wickets. Yet, inexplicably, the two most senior players of the group, Gabriel and Seales, bowled just six and seven overs respectively. 

Gabriel, in particular, looked frustrated and listless and one wonders if he’s truly fit and ready with the First Test against England only a few weeks away, on 8 March at Kensington Oval, Barbados.

There are also concerns surrounding the availability of key players. 

West Indies Test opener Jeremy Solozano could be set to return to action after suffering an injury to his hand which kept him out of Round 1. Isaiah Rajah also sustained an injury to his hand on  opening day and required stitches. 

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago batsman Jeremy Solozano puts on his first West Indies cap in Sri Lanka on 21 November 2021.
Solozano never got to the crease, having been concussed while in the field.
(via CWI Media)

Rajah was unable to field for the majority of the match and clearly batted with some discomfort, although he played a crucial innings in partnership with Yannic Cariah that gave the Red Force a commanding first innings lead.

If both Rajah and Solozano are unable to take the field, could this be an opportunity for young Kirstan Kallicharan to debut for the Red Force? 

He’s a young, exciting Queen’s Park Cricket Club middle-order batsman who also bowls leg-spin part-time and has come through the system—having represented the West Indies at the 2018 Under-19 Cricket World Cup and at ‘B’ team level in 2017 and 2018.

It should be an enthralling encounter once more. The Tarouba wicket seemed to be a sporting one, lively on Day 1 but with inconsistent bounce and pace as the match progressed.  

Photo: T&T Red Force batsman Keagan Simmons (left) goes on the attack while Jamaica Scorpions wicketkeeper Romaine Morrison looks on during West Indies Championship action in Tarouba on 12 February 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

The team with the greater patience and will to win should come out on top. The Volcanoes will be in fighting mood as they try to recover from their heartbreaking loss against Guyana, while the Red Force have a great opportunity to stay near the top of the standings in their push for their first regional title since the 2005-2006 competition. 

The Red Force will have more familiarity with playing conditions in Tarouba, having played there last week. They must make that count.

(Match Schedule)

Round 2: 15-18 February

Trinidad and Tobago Red Force v Windward Islands Volcanoes at Brian Lara Cricket Academy;

Guyana Harpy Eagles v Leeward Island Hurricanes at Queen’s Park Oval;

Barbados Pride v Jamaica Scorpions at Kensington Oval.

Photo: Windward Islands pacer Preston McSween (centre) bowls at Guyana batsman Tagenarine Chanderpaul while umpire Joel Wilson looks on during West Indies Championship action at the Queen’s Park Oval on 10 February 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

(Teams)

Barbados Pride: Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Jonathan Carter, Shane Dowrich, Justin Greaves, Keon Harding, Chaim-Alexis Holder, Chemar Holder, Shayne Moseley, Raymon Reifer, Shamar Springer, Jomel Warrican, Akeem Joseph, Jonathan Drakes, Tevyn Walcott, Ramon Simmonds.

Guyana Harpy Eagles: Leon Johnson (captain), Anthony Bramble, Clinton Pestano, Vishaul Singh, Nial Smith, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Shimron Hetmyer, Gudakesh Motie, Keemo Paul, Veerasammy Permaul, Antony Adams, Tevin Imlach, Keon Joseph, Akshaya Persaud.

Photo: T&T Red Force fast bowler Anderson Phillip (right) forces Jamaica lower=order batsman Patrick Harty (left) to take evasive action during West Indies Championship action in Tarouba on 11 February 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

Jamaica Scorpions: John Campbell (captain), Alwyn Williams, Jermaine Blackwood, Leroy Lugg, Romaine Morris, Paul Palmer, Jamie Merchant, Marquino Mindley, Nicholson Gordon, Derval Green, Patrick Harty, Gordon Bryan, Kirk McKenzie, Oraine Williams, Brad Barnes.

Leeward Islands Hurricanes: Jahmar Hamilton (captain), Rahkeem Cornwall, Devon Thomas, Montcin Hodge, Amir Jangoo, Kieran Powell, Colin Archibald, Terance Warde, Jeremiah Louis, Keacy Carty, Ross Powell, Nino Henry, Kofi James, Daniel Doram, Kian Pemberton.

Photo: T&T Red Force pacer Jayden Seales (centre) celebrates his second wicket during Day 1 the West Indies Championship contest against the Jamaica Scorpions in Tarouba on 9 February 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

Trinidad and Tobago Red Force: Imran Khan (captain), Joshua Da Silva, Keagan Simmons, Jyd Goolie, Jason Mohammed, Yannic Cariah, Bryan Charles, Shannon Gabriel, Anderson Phillip, Jayden Seales, Isaiah Rajah, Jeremy Solozano, Khary Pierre, Terrance Hinds, Kirstan Kallicharan.

Windward Islands Volcanoes: Kavem Hodge (captain), Keron Cottoy, Denis Smith, Devon Smith, Kimani Melius, Alick Athanaze, Ryan John, Larry Edward, Kenneth Dember, Sherm0n Lewis, Preston McSween, Teddy Bishop, Darel Cyrus, Josh Thomas, Ackeem Auguste.

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