Tridents, Warriors in vital clash

Barbados Tridents will begin their quest to reach the playoffs of the 2017 Hero Caribbean Premier League when they take on in-form Guyana Amazon Warriors in a 6 p.m. clash at Kensington Oval tomorrow.

The home side have been erratic in the competition so far, winning two of their six outings on a difficult road trip, and currently lie fifth on four points. Significantly, they are outside the top four – the playoff positions – and will use the four games here over the next week to claw their way back into contention.

Talismanic captain Kieron Pollard believes the eight-day break since their last match has been pivotal in helping the Tridents to rejuvenate and regain their confidence for the key encounter.

Kieron Pollard is looking forward to an improved performance from his Barbados Tridents team starting from tomorrow.

“[Our performances] have been a bit up and down. I don’t think we are in the position we would’ve liked to be in but these things happen,” he told reporters at the pre-match media conference today.

“It’s a situation where we would’ve had a lot of days to reflect on what we have to do. Guys would have gone back, had a bit of rest, taken their minds off cricket a bit and hopefully with a fresh mind we can come and play some better cricket in our home leg of the tournament.

“I look at [the break] as a positive, getting the opportunity to not travel around and jump on a plane and play [every few days]. It’s important to rest and not think about cricket for a little bit especially when things are not going your way, sometimes that’s the best thing you want.”

Tridents have welcomed to their ranks England Twenty20 star Eoin Morgan who will be a huge boost for the home side in their playoff push. Along with Pollard and New Zealander Kane Williamson, Morgan forms a dangerous potentially match-winning trio, capable of destroying attacks.

Hometown boy Dwayne Smith, who smashed a hundred in his last outing against Amazon Warriors in Georgetown, is also in good form and Pollard said the entire squad were motivated and were taking confidence from being back at Kensington Oval.

“I think the guys are looking forward to it. I think we’ve played some of our best cricket here in Kensington Oval and coming back home to play these must-win games and having the crowd support behind us, is a great thing,” he noted.

“With the addition of Morgan as well, that’s fresh blood into the Tridents now and that could spark a bit of a positive for us. Tomorrow is big game so hopefully we can go out and entertain.”

Amazon Warriors, meanwhile, are fourth on six points with two games left, and need to win both in order to give themselves a chance of qualifying for the playoffs.

And captain Rayad Emrit said even though they had hoped not to find themselves in this do-or-die situation, they were now prepared to fight tooth and nail to secure victories in their remaining fixtures.

“We know the importance of the game. We had two victories in the last two games and that’s given us some momentum,” the Trinidadian all-rounder said.

“I don’t really have to emphasise how important the game is – we know exactly. It’s a must-win game here now. I think the guys are up for it. Coming off two victories is always important and I think if we can play smart cricket, I think we’ll be alright.”

He added: “We’re not in the position we wanted to be but we have two games to fix it and they are two must-win games for us. We’ve been playing some decent cricket. We’ve not been smart in some of the games we’ve lost but hopefully we can put that behind us and get the results that we need in the games going forward.”

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