TOP will play bottom at the Queen’s Park Oval in St Clair at 8 pm tonight in the 2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League, when the Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) play their final preliminary match at home against the Barbados Tridents.
TKR have won five straight matches and currently lead the standings with 12 points from eight matches with six wins and two losses. TKR have two matches remaining in the preliminary stage, and are in with a great chance of finishing on top of the six-team tournament, before the playoffs begin on Tuesday.
It has been a tournament to forget for the Tridents, entering their last preliminary match tonight. The Tridents, who have been eliminated from playoff contention, only have four points with two wins from nine matches. Tridents got off to a decent start in the tournament, winning two of their first three matches on the road. However, playing at home at Kensington Oval in Barbados was a nightmare for the Tridents, as they lost five consecutive matches. The team then went to St Kitts earlier this week and lost to the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots.
Yesterday, Trinidad-born Tridents coach Robin Singh reflected on a tournament of missed opportunities at a press conference at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain.
“From a Tridents point of view, it has been a campaign where we could have done far better. We had a lot of opportunities to win matches, but of course if you don’t seize those moments when you play these tournaments, there is a result that happens and it is probable that it won’t go in your favour – which happened on most occasions,” Singh said.
Singh said the 2018 CPL season has been a learning experience for the Tridents. “From a players standpoint, I think they need to learn from that. Even as coaches, we were trying to figure out where we went wrong after the second game after we came back to Barbados. There is a lot of things I would like to say, but of course I have to speak to management and the owners and we will put that together and take that forward next year.”
TKR coach Simon Katich said his team can still improve, despite sitting comfortably at the top of the table. “There are still areas to improve on. I think our fielding is finally starting to hit its straps. There have been times we have been a little bit sloppy, but last night (Wednesday) was outstanding,” Katich said. TKR took some good catches against the Guyana Amazon Warriors on Wednesday, with Sunil Narine, Brendon McCullum and Javon Searles taking two catches each.
Discussing the team’s batting and bowling, Katich said, “Our batsmen have been really consistent throughout the tournament, but we have not had a really good opening partnership, so that is obviously something that we are looking to address.” Opener Sunil Narine, who did not open for TKR on Wednesday because of a tooth problem, is expected to be fully fit tonight, but it is uncertain if he will open with Chris Lynn. Colin Munro replaced Narine as Lynn’s partner and scored 90.
“From a bowling point of view, each night is different, you may think you are going well and someone gets the hold of you so you have to be flexible.
At the moment, I think a lot of our bowlers are gaining a lot of confidence in playing their role through different phases of the innings.” The five bowlers used by TKR captain Dwayne Bravo on Wednesday took wickets including Ali Khan, Narine, Khary Pierre, Fawad Ahmed and Bravo himself.