But feels Tridents benefitted from ‘a few decisions’
By Sean Devers
The Guyana Amazon Warriors Head Coach Roger Harper said despite being disappointed that the Warriors did not
come away with the CPL title, his charges played good all-round cricket consistently and getting to the final again, was another positive he took away from the 2014 edition of the tournament, branded as the biggest party in sport.
Harper, who played 25 Tests and 105 ODIs between 1983 -1996 as an off-spinning All-Rounder during the glory days of West Indies cricket before being appointed Coach of the Regional side from 2000-2003, said while the experience reaching the final last year should have helped the players, participating in a final always brings added psychological pressure.
“I think we gave a good account of ourselves, winning SIX matches out of nine games before their ill-fated and highly controversial final against Barbados Tridents ended in an anti-climax with them losing by eight runs on the Duckworth/Lewis system when rain stopped play with the Warriors on 107-4 from 15.5 overs, replying to the 152-6 made by the Tridents from their allotted 20 overs.
This was their second heartbreak in two years after they lost to last year’s champions Jamaica Tallawahs.
Harper, one of the best fieldsmen in the World in his hay day, told Kaieteur Sports that several factors contributed to them not being able to emerge victorious in St Kitts last week Saturday.
“I thought that we gave away some runs that we should have not and lost a few wickets when we shouldn’t have. The early loss of (Martin) Guptil and then losing (Mohamed) Hafeez and (Jimmy) Neesham in quick succession hampered our chase relative to the Duckworth/Lewis since we knew the rain was threatening but could not take too many chances and run the risk of losing more wickets,” Harper informed.
The 51 year-old former Guyana Captain said on hindsight the batting order could have been rearranged and feels that New Zealand International Neesham did not fulfill his role and should have batted more aggressive.
“I would say that Barbados benefitted from a couple (few) of decisions that could have gone the other way,” Harper pointed out.
One of those decisions involved the dismissal of Neesham who was adjudged caught down the leg side off his glove off a slower ball from Jason Holder, which TV replays found inconclusive. The verdict caused Skipper Denish Ramdin to throw his bat and gloves to the ground in disgust, resulting in him being fined for Dissent.
Tridents’ Skipper Kieron Pollard took ages to complete Guyana’s quota of overs with rain approaching. According to the playing conditions Tridents should been penalized with penalty runs for slow over rate when the scheduled batting time of the Warriors expired with 4.1 overs remaining in their innings.
“Any Captain would have used any advantage they got to win a final. I however think that their slow over rate should have been factored in at the end and the Umpires could have taken more control of the game,” Harper opined.
“Overall I am satisfied with our performance. We had the top run scorer and another in the top four in addition to the bowler with the second most wickets. Yes we could have scored quicker and the batting order could have been changed on hindsight. But cricket is played in the moment and some decisions work out well and some don’t. I am happy that Pollard, Ramdin and Sunil Narine have taken their good form from the CPL into the limited overs series against Bangladesh,” Harper added.
Lendl Simmons scored the most runs and had a highest score of 97 in his 446 runs from 11 games, while Martin Guptil registered five half-centuries in 358 runs from 11 matches. Left-arm medium pacer Krishmar Santokie took the second most scalps with 17 wickets, one less than the tournament’s leading wicket-taker Ravi Rampaul who played for the Tridents.
“I think while our batting came to the fore towards the end of the tournament with (Lendl) Simmons, Guptill and Ramdin contributing with the bat, we let ourselves down at the end of the innings with the ball on a few occasions,” Harper disclosed.
Harper added that on hindsight Chris Barnwell, who could have batted higher in the order at times, could have been used to bowl, but Harper, who scored 10 First-Class hundreds, pointed out that Barnwell has high economy rates and it would have been a risk bowling him.
When asked about the outcome of the protest lodged to the CPL Committee by the Warriors’ Management, Harper said they should have gotten a response by now and thanked the Warriors fans for their fantastic support throughout its CPL campaign.
According to informed sources, the Organizers of next month’s Champions League in India only allowed the West Indies to name their representative and team members to the event late to accommodate the completion of the CPL, adding it was not possible to replace the Tridents with the Warriors at this point regardless of what comes out of the inquiry.
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