Benjamin keen on consistency after Hurricanes strong start
ST JOHN'S, Antigua (CMC):
Head coach Winston Benjamin has urged his Leeward Islands Hurricanes to be consistent and build on their strong start to the new regional first-class season.
Hurricanes lie second in the six-team standings after two rounds of matches, following a draw against Windward Islands Volcanoes and a comprehensive victory over Barbados Pride last weekend.
"We need to be consistent and not just for games like this [against Barbados], but for the other games to come," Benjamin told The Observer newspaper here.
"And as I said in my [previous] interview, my aim is not to go out and win the competition, but to improve the cricket, and when we win then that is a bonus."
Hurricanes were particularly ruthless against Pride, routing them by an innings and four runs inside two days at Kensington Oval, after dismissing them cheaply for 113 and 116.
Pride were 34 for seven at one stage in their first innings before producing a late rally, and Benjamin said that Hurricanes could have been even more clinical in dismissing their opponents for a smaller total.
"We should have bowled them out for less than 100," he noted.
"We gave away 52 runs trying things that we didn't need to try. If we had executed or been a bit more patient, then we could have bowled them out for under that score."
Youth and experience
Hurricanes benefited from their mixture of youth and experience, with 21-year-old seamer Jeremiah Louis starring with a six-wicket haul in the first innings, and veteran 34-year-old Gavin Tonge producing another six-wicket haul in the second innings to stun Pride again.
Benjamin said that his chief objective was to get all players to buy into the vision of the side, and understand their specific roles.
"Most of these guys, I have worked with them at youth cricket level, so they know exactly how I operate. They are grown men now, so you can't deal with them now how you used to deal with them when they were younger," the former West Indies seamer explained.
Hurricanes face a stern test at Warner Park in the third round starting on Thursday, when they host three-time reigning champions Guyana Jaguars, who have won both their opening matches this season.
However, Hurricanes are expected to be strengthened as wicketkeeper Jahmar Hamilton and all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall are expected to return to the line-up after missing the opening fixtures because of West Indies A duty.