Both Barbados Tridents and title-holders Trinbago Knight Riders are bracing for a tough outing when they clash in an anticipated high octane encounter at Kensington Oval here this afternoon.
The hosts enter the game second in the Caribbean Premier League standings on five points and desperate to make up ground on runaway leaders Guyana Amazon Warriors who sit on top the tables on ten points.
Captain Kieron Pollard reminded that battles with the Port of Spain-based franchise was always difficult but said his side were focussed on getting the all-important win.
“I think we’re in a good place. We’ve played three-and-a-quarter games so we’re well rested in that aspect. We’re looking forward to this game and it’s always a good game against Trinidad here at Kensington Oval so we’re looking forward to that,” the Trinidadian told a media conference here Friday.
“Every game is a must-win game, don’t matter if it’s home or away. Rain fell in the last game but we don’t look at that. What we look at is what we can control and that’s play on the cricket field and we came out on the field against St Kitts and tried to play a good game and we came out on top.
“Hopefully we can come back again … and be on our P’s and Q’s.”
Rain ruined the opening home game against Jamaica Tallawahs last Monday, allowing just ten overs and forcing a no-result.
Tridents returned on Wednesday with conviction, however, atoning for that disappointment with a 25-run victory over St Kitts and Nevis Patriots.
Pollard said while he was not convinced by the way the Oval pitch had played in the last game, the Tridents needed to concentrate on playing strong cricket against TKR.
“At no point you felt like you were in [on the pitch]. Sometimes when you play on a wicket you feel like you’re in and you can take on the bowlers but at no time you felt like you were in,” Pollard said.
“But having said that, we have to play what is in front of us, not [concerning ourselves] about the wicket too much – how it plays, whatever – it’s about ball versus bat and doing the basics, that’s the most important thing in cricket, and who panics less as well in T20 cricket.
“We’re not thinking much into the conditions and all those sort of things. It’s about analyzing and coming up with the best plans and executing, and the team that executes well or better on the day, mostly comes out on top.”
TKR have had a surprisingly poor start to the competition, losing three of their four opening matches at home. They rebounded to deal Amazon Warriors their first defeat last Sunday in Georgetown and are now fourth in the standing on four points.
Captain Dwayne Bravo said TKR said their emphasis would now be on winning as many games on the road as possible.
“It’s unusual [to lose so many games at home] but you have to give credit when other teams play well and that’s the thing about this format: home advantage doesn’t really count,” he explained.
“You’re coming up against good teams, good opposition, good players whether you play home or away. We were the first team to beat Guyana in Guyana this year season so it really doesn’t matter.
“As long as you play good cricket on the day, that’s what’s important whether you’re home or on the road.”
He added: “The table is taking care of itself with every game that goes on but for us, we’re not going to focus on where we stand in the table [because] every game we play on the road now we have to win.
“We have to try to play every cricket game to win, that’s very important. Once you win cricket games everything takes care of itself.”
TKR won the first encounter against Tridents at home two weeks ago but Bravo said he was taking nothing for granted this time around.
“They always are a very strong team,” he said.
“It’s a different start too – 12 o’clock in the day – so that too in itself is very challenging but it’s going to be another good game of cricket [between] two of the better teams in the tournament.”