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The Trinidad and Tobago Red Force will have a tough battle on their hands over the next four days when they face the Windward Islands Volcanoes at the Beausejour Cricket Ground in St Lucia in the fifth round of the West Indies Cricket Board Professional Cricket League Four-Day competition which bowls off today.

In the other matches starting today, defending champions Barbados Pride will host Leewards Hurricanes at Kensington Oval while leaders Guyana Jaguars face second place Jamaica at Sabina Park.

While stand-in skipper Jason Mohammed remained optimistic that they can turn their season around following back-to-back losses to Jamaica and Guyana in the previous two rounds, he admitted that it will be an uphill battle.

The Windwards have given T&T a run for their money in the past. They blew away today’s opponents in the semi-final last year at Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain, with pacer Kenroy Peters taking seven wickets in the second innings. And that was a more experienced T&T side than the one that left for St Lucia on Wednesday.

T&T are currently without Denesh Ramdin, Lendl Simmons and Darren Bravo, who are in the West Indies World Cup squad, while Kieron Pollard, Ravi Rampaul, Sunil Narine, Kevon Cooper and Dwayne Bravo are all out for various reasons.

And earlier this week, the Red Force had to cope with the loss of skipper Rayad Emrit who was ruled out with a groin strain.

The good news for the Red Force, who are fifth on the six-team standings on 24 points, is the return of pacer Shannon Gabriel and the recent good form of Mohammed who slammed an unbeaten century in the Super50 final.

Meanwhile, the Windwards, who are fourth on the standings with 26 points, will welcome back Test player Devon Smith to the side which also includes pacer Kenroy Peters, who made his Test debut against South Africa in December and off-spinner Shane Shillingford.


SQUADS

T&T Red Force (from): Jason Mohammed (captain), Evin Lewis, Jeremy Solozano, Yannic Cariah, Khesan Yannick Ottley, Kjorn Ottley, Imran Khan, Akeal Hosein, Steven Katwaroo, Shannon Gabriel, Marlon Richards, Derone Davis, Daniel St Clair

Roland Sampath (manager), Gus Logie (coach), Kelvin Williams (assistant coach), Oba Gulston (Physiotherapist).

Windward Islands Volcanoes (from):

Liam Sebastian (captain), Sunil Ambris, Alston Bobb, Johnson Charles, Craig Emmanuel, Andre Fletcher, Delorn Johnson, Keddy Lesporis, Mervin Matthew, Kenroy Peters, Shane Shillingford, Devon Smith, Tyrone Theophile.
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