Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Smith: We’ll break T&T jinx


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Barbados captain Dwayne Smith is backing his team to finally overcome the Trinidad and Tobago bogey and win the Caribbean Twenty20 title.
Just before departing for Trinidad on Wednesday night, Smith said the defending champions had the upper hand with their mental game.
“Man for man, we have the better team although they have some very experienced players in Twenty20,” Smith said at the Grantley Adams International Airport.
“Once we can get our three components of the game – batting, bowling and fielding – up to the top gear, we can beat Trinidad and Tobago and win the title.”
Dismissing any suggestion that the pressures of being captain and opener plus returning from a successful ICC World Twenty20 with the West Indies team could affect him, Smith said that he had been opening for a while and that the combination of the experienced players like former captain Ryan Hinds, Fidel Edwards, Tino Best and Suleiman Benn with the young talent of Shamarh Brooks, Kyle Mayers, Roston Chase, Justin Brathwaite make the current team one of the best he has been playing on.
“I always tell the younger players that they reached the team by being themselves and they need to go out there and continue that style. Significantly, winning the Twenty20 will see Barbados qualifying for the Champions League,” Smith said.
“Kieron Pollard was able to launch his IPL career from his appearance and performance in the Champions League and an equally good performance by our players will not only benefit Barbados but those players can get their chance in the upcoming Caribbean Premier League and other international competitions.”
Barbados open their campaign with a match against Leeward Islands on Monday at 4 p.m.
Yesterday, Smith slammed an unbeaten 71 to help Barbados beat a Trinidad and Tobago “B” team by 77 runs in a warm-up match.
Barbados reached 144 for three of their 20 overs while the Trinidadians crashed to 78 all out in 19 overs.    
Smith faced 66 balls, hitting seven fours and one six, and was supported by Shamarh Brooks who scored 35 off 29 balls – including three sixes.
Justin Guillen gave Trinidad and Tobago “B” a flying start, smashing 23 runs from 17 balls while Vikash Mohan added 18 off 20 balls, but they were the only two batsmen to get into double digits.
Wickets fell regularly as Smith returned to be the chief destroyer, three for three off three overs, while Benn, Hinds and Javon Searles each took two wickets.
Barbados are due to play Windwards Islands in another warm-up match today. (KB/CMC)


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