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Williams setting sights on four-day crown

By JOEL BAILEY Tuesday, April 8 2014

KELVIN WILLIAMS, coach of the Trinidad and Tobago cricket team, is setting his sights on the Regional Four Day Championship title, after the squad thrashed Jamaica by 145 runs, within three days, of their Sixth-Round duel at the Queen’s Park Oval on Sunday.

The top team at the end of the Seventh-Round will claim the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) President’s Trophy, while the top four teams will advance to the semi-final phase and compete for the Headley/Weekes Trophy.

With one round of matches (April 11-14) remaining in the Regional Four Day Championship, Trinidad and Tobago are atop the seven-team standings with 72 points, while Barbados, Windward Islands (65 apiece), Combined Campuses and Colleges (46) and Jamaica (44) are the other teams in contention. The Leeward Islands are on 40 points, with Guyana on 21.

This weekend, TT will be visiting cellar-placed Guyana, Barbados will be travelling to Antigua to face the Leewards and CCC will oppose Jamaica in Barbados.

“It was a fantastic victory, seeing we haven’t beaten Jamaica, in Trinidad, for quite a while,” said Williams on Sunday evening. “At one stage, it seemed like it was not going to be but I like how the bowlers respond to situations. That put us out front, as far as the championship points are concerned, with one more game to go.

“If we go down to Guyana and we beat (them) outright, I think we’re going to be champions. It’s a long time that hasn’t happened so therefore we cannot predict anything as such.”

Trinidad and Tobago posted 244 in their first innings while Jamaica were restricted to 180 in response. TT, in their second innings, made 179 and then skittled out the visitors for 98.

However, unlike their previous home games this season (versus Windwards, Leewards and CCC), Trinidad and Tobago’s batsmen struggled, with only Man of the Match Kieron Pollard (111), Evin Lewis (63) and, in the second innings, Imran Khan (56 not out) making scores of note.

“I think (Saturday) we end up well,” said Williams, referring to TT’s overnight score of 94/1 in their second innings. “(Sunday) morning, if you look at how the batsmen (got) out, there were no big type of shots. I think they were more conservative more than anything else.

“We’re having problems with the batting at times but, if you look at it also, we also have some big scores now and again,” he added. “So I think the batting is unpredictable and I hope that we can actually go down to Guyana and play what I can say a perfect game, as far as the batters (are) concerned, and the bowling.”

Williams admitted that the TT players have been boosted by their 100-percent record at home this season.

“The four games at home we won convincingly,” he said. “On the road, we lost to Barbados badly. We’ve got to be mindful about that.

“The players are confident playing at home, they understand the conditions.

“At the Queen’s Park Oval, we have some fantastic wickets,” Williams added. “We’ve got to be mindful on the very first day, the first session, how important (of) keeping wickets intact. Many times we won the toss and bat and, before lunch, we’re three (wickets) down.”

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