Mohammed, Santokie look to cement their places

PROVIDENCE, Guyana, CMC – Jason Mohammed and Krishmar Santokie have plenty in common, as they look ahead to the Final of the Regional Super50 tournament between Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica on Saturday at the Guyana National Stadium here.

T&T’s Mohammed and Jamaica’s Santokie are both small in stature, but lion-hearted in purpose, grabbing the Man-of-the-Match awards in the two semi-finals on Wednesday and Thursday at the same venue, helping their sides to reach the Final.

The 00-year-old Mohammed, a compact right-handed batsman, led the way for T&T with an unbeaten 65 that allowed the Red Force to successfully chase 201 for victory against hosts Guyana in the first semi-final.

Apart from taking three early scalps to put the West Indies High Performance Centre under pressure in the second semi-final, left-arm medium-fast bowler Santokie hung around at the end with the bat to usher his side over the finish line for a one-wicket victory with one ball remaining.

Remarkably, both players had the same objective in mind when they arrived at the start of the tournament – cement their places in their national sides.

Mohammed has been T&T’s most prolific batsman in the competition, scoring 195 runs at an average of 65. Only Jamaica captain and talismanic West Indies opener Chris Gayle has more runs (206).

But Mohammed has shown a welcomed return to some of his best form that deserted him in the last couple of seasons.

“I have been in some good form lately and I am looking to make the best use of this opportunity,” he said.

“When our side is at full strength, it is very difficult to find a place in the side for any player, and I am just trying to make the best use of this chance, so the next time, I will not find myself wandering.”

Santokie was fresh from his international debut, helping a depleted West Indies to crash England’s end-of-season celebrations with a crushing victory in a Twenty20 International last month at the Oval in London.

He said that experience has made him even hungrier for success and to find a permanent place in the Jamaica side.

“My international debut helped me with my confidence,” said Santokie, whose nine wickets at 16 runs apiece makes him Jamaica’s most successful bowler in the RS50. Only T&T’s Sunil Narine with 14 wickets has more.

“It gave me the kind of motivation to come out and keep performing, so I came to Guyana in the right frame of mind and I just tried to do what I have always been doing.

“I performed well for Jamaica last year and this year has not been too bad, so I want to work hard on finding a permanent place for me in the team for all forms of the game.”

Fri, 10/28/2011 - 09:18