Belief benefited us – Sinclair
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):
Off-spinner Kevin Sinclair said that Windies Emerging Players had a feeling they would have won the Super50 Cup after a stroke of fortune saw them squeeze into the semi-finals.
They suffered a 10-wicket crushing at the hands of Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in their final preliminary game to finish on 18 points, which left them second in Group B, but were expected to be overhauled by Guyana Jaguars, on 16 points, especially with last year’s losing finalists facing minnows United States (US) in their final game.
But Jaguars suffered a stunning eight-run upset, leaving Emerging Players to finish second behind Group B winners Red Force.
“We were watching the game on a flat-screen back when the US and Guyana were playing, so when US beat Guyana, we were overjoyed and overwhelmed,” Sinclair said after Emerging Players pulled off a record 205-run victory over Leeward Islands Hurricanes in Sunday’s final to win the title.
“We knew we would have won this tournament because we come out and played good cricket. We just had to back our ability and keep doing what we [were] doing – nothing different, don’t change anything.
“We, as a team, we [played better cricket] than the rest of teams. We rotated the strike better, we bowled in partnerships, we take wickets. Different little things that other teams didn’t do we stuck out and do, so I must say it was an all-round effort by the team.”
Emerging Players, hastily cobbled together just before the start of the tournament, opened their campaign with a defeat when Jaguars beat them off the last ball of the game by two wickets.
However, they went on a four-game winning streak to surge up the standings, before going winless in their last three matches, suffering two defeats and a no-result due to rain.
In the semi-final, they shed their underdogs tag to upset Barbados Pride and book their spot in the final.
Sinclair, who picked up 13 wickets in the tournament, including a destructive four-wicket haul in Sunday’s final, said the team had been full of self-belief right throughout.
“I really feel overjoyed,” he said. “I must say thanks to the Almighty for being with us right through the tournament because there were moments when teams looked like they would have beat us and then we just stuck [it] out and something happened and we just pulled it over [the line].
“I think the guys played good cricket right through – the fielding was on top, the bowling was really tight, and the batting just had to keep going.”
Head coach Floyd Reifer, who oversaw the senior Windies side this year, was praised by Sinclair.
“Floyd Reifer and the management team worked really hard with us in terms of the fielding and the all-round game and even the mental aspect of the game, so I must say it was an all-round [good] tournament for me and the guys.”