Beware of dangerous Jaguars, Hope warns
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):
Newly appointed Trinidad and Tobago Red Force captain, Kyle Hope says that last weekend's comprehensive win in the Regional four-day championship has lifted the confidence levels of his side but has warned them to beware of the dangerous of Guyana Jaguars, who they clash with starting here today.
Red Force trounced a hapless Windward Islands Volcanoes by 172 runs to break a run of poor form and haul themselves off the bottom of the standings into fourth spot.
But Hope, who led Red Force for the first time last weekend, said he was under no illusions, about the size of the task coming up against Jaguars.
"The team is in high spirits after the win against the Windward Islands Volcanoes, but we understand that the Guyana Jaguars will be a completely different challenge," the Barbadian pointed out.
He added: "I am expecting another competitive game. Guyana is currently on a high and have been playing good cricket in the Four-Day format for quite some time.
"However, a few of our guys have been coming into form with the bat and ball, and once we execute on the field, we will give ourselves the best chance of winning."
Not only did Hope make a winning start to his captaincy tenure, but the victory also coincided with the right-hander's maiden first-class hundred.
The innings - an unbeaten 105 in the second innings - helped Red Force set Volcanoes a massive 375 to win.
Hope said that the handsome victory spoke volumes about how the squad embraced him as the new captain.
"The team has been responding well to me being named skipper. I think the game against the Windward Islands is a good indication of the team's response to my elevation as captain as well as the unity of our squad," he noted.
"Coming from the position we were in at the beginning of that game, and to pull off such a victory, speaks well for our dressing room.
"After not having the best first half to the season, getting a win under the belt was a great confidence booster. All praises must go to the team."
Two-time defending champions Jaguars, who trounced Jamaica Scorpions in Kingston, top the standings with 84.8 points, with Scorpions second on 73 points.
Barbados Pride's win over Leeward Islands Hurricanes in Bridgetown left the third on 68 points, with Red Force fourth on 53.6 points.