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Saturday 19 October 2019
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Pooran keeps eye on the big prize

Guyana Amazon Warriors' Nicholas Pooran smashes a boundary against the Trinbago Knight Riders in a Hero CPL match at the National Stadium, Providence, last night. PHOTO COURTESY CPL T20 2019
Guyana Amazon Warriors' Nicholas Pooran smashes a boundary against the Trinbago Knight Riders in a Hero CPL match at the National Stadium, Providence, last night. PHOTO COURTESY CPL T20 2019

Guyana Amazon Warriors wicketkeeper/batsman Nicholas Pooran says his team is staying focus on the prize and not getting carried away with their history-making feats so far. Guyana completed the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) preliminary round with an unblemished record ten wins from as many matches, trouncing defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders by seven wickets.

With their maiden CPL title just two wins away, Pooran but the historic campaign in perspective.

"To be honest, it's a good feeling but it means nothing, because we haven't achieved anything. We're looking forward to the first playoff (against Barbados Tridents) and hopefully we get to the finals. The main goal is winning the tournament this year. If we don't win the tournament, it's gonna be a shame. Winning ten games don't make any sense."

Pooran said the Amazon Warriors are going to be sticking with what's worked well for them so far and not try anything special.

"We're gonna play the playoff just like any other game. We played ten games already and we not gonna change anything. We're just gonna play with energy, confidence and express ourselves. That's what we've been doing all the time."

The 24-year-old, who top scored for the West Indies during the World Cup this year,  came to the crease last night with Guyana precariously placed at 59 for three in pursuit of 144 for victory.

Pooran (54 from 35 balls) and his skipper Shoaib Malik (28 from 29 balls) tempered the nerves of the Guyanese faithful with an 85-run unbeaten partnership that combined good shot selection with calculated aggression.

"At the beginning, if TKR make 146 (143) against us,  we will take it. It was tricky conditions today. I didn't think the wicket was the best, it was staying a bit low but 146, we definitely thought we had them."

Pooran made the result a foregone conclusion in the 17th over, destroying New Zealand's Jimmy Neesham for 18 to make the equation much simpler.

"We wanted to target one ball in each over. He gave us a free hit and we're thankful for that. We just wanted to play cricket shots and it just happened the balls went to the boundary and we got that big over."

On a personal level, Pooran said: "It's always happy to get runs under my belt. I haven't gotten much opportunity to bat this tournament. I think I failed two games. I've been batting really good and most important thing is being in-form going into a playoff game."

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