Smooth sailing to Caribbean T20 title, says Ramdin
Denesh Ramdin, the Trinidad & Tobago captain, has said it was smooth sailing for his side in the Caribbean T20 after losing to Windward Islands in their first match. Jamaica, the defending champions, lost by 11 runs to Windward Islands at North Sound, and Ramdin said it was the "kick up the backside" they needed to focus for the rest of the tournament.
"We are known as the Red Force and we showed we are a true force," Ramdin told the Jamaican Gleaner. "We didn't get it right in the first match, Windwards gave us a kick up the backside, but we came back as a strong force against Leeward Islands and Guyana. After that, it was smooth sailing because we know we have matchwinners in all departments."
Both Ramdin and the T&T coach Kevin Williams said they were surprised at how easily Jamaica rolled over in the final. T&T won by 63 runs, after Jamaica never appeared to make a serious attempt to chase their total of 168.
"We actually thought Jamaica would have been stronger in the final, but our bowlers did a fantastic job in the first six overs and that squeezed them," Ramdin said. "After that, we knew we had the trophy in our hands."
Williams said it was satisfying to prevent Jamaica from holding all the Caribbean domestic titles simultaneously. "Seeing that it was a final, we expected Jamaica to put up more of a fight," he told the Trinidad & Tobago Express. "We spoke about it and we knew that, if they won, they would hold the four-day, 50-over and Twenty20 trophies, and it was nice to stop them from achieving that and defend our title in style."
After the game, Andre Russell and Shawn Findlay revealed there was division in their Jamaica team that affected their performance.
Ramdin took over from Daren Ganga as captain before the Caribbean T20 and Williams said he had done well to achieve immediate success. Williams said T&T had raised the bar further in terms of the quality of Twenty20 cricket played in the Caribbean, and that the next step was to achieve something in the Champions League T20, for which T&T have qualified for the third time. "I always say we raised the bar for T20 cricket in the Caribbean and the other teams were playing catch-up, and it is nice to know we can raise it a little higher," Williams said. "It is a great achievement for us qualifying for the Champions League again; we have not done anything in that tournament as yet but it is still a great achievement for us."
The semi-finals and final of this year's Caribbean T20 were played in Bridgetown, as they were in 2010-11, and Ramdin said it had become like a home ground for T&T. "It was great to see the way our fans came out and supported us here in Barbados for the semi-finals and final. It was like a home away from home," he said. "Also, we were delighted that the games were being broadcast all over the world so the fans could see the talent in our team as well as all the talent in the other teams across the Caribbean."