BARBADOS Tridents skipper Jason Holder believes his team is clicking at the right time as they get set to face the unbeaten juggernaut, Guyana Amazon Warriors, in a Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) playoff at 3.30pm, at the National Stadium, Providence, Guyana.
Speaking at a pre-match press conference yesterday, Holder acknowledged the tremendous run of form of their opponents but is still confident, after winning three of their last four games to finish second.
The winner today advances straight to the CPL final on Saturday.
“We’ve had an up and down campaign but it seems to be clicking at the right time. Our boys are full of confidence, playing the last few games and winning them.
Tomorrow will be a really interesting game and should be a really keenly contested game and I expect a really good challenge from the Guyana Amazon Warriors.”
Holder lauded the impact of his bowling department, which has been led by leg-spinner Hayden Walsh Jr, who tops the bowling charts with 17 wickets from just six matches.
“Our bowling has really carried us this campaign. Our bowling has been excellent and I can’t fault them. Our batting has been a bit indifferent. I think the beauty about us is through the difficult periods in the tournament, we stuck together as a side. Hasn’t been a situation where guys have gotten upset and unsettled. We’ve all stuck together as a close-knit unit and that’s part of the reason we were able to turn things around.”
Holder lauded his opposite number, Shoaib Malik, and cited his match-winning knock of 73 not out from 45 balls on Thursday, which rescued Guyana against Jamaica Tallawahs, who had them four down with just eight runs on the board.
Malik, asked how his team is coping with their historic campaign so far, said there will be no complacency from the Warriors once he’s in charge.
“There is no over confidence. Every day is a new day. What we have achieved was exceptional but that is past now. What’s coming tomorrow, we just focusing on that.”
Malik acknowledged the pressure from Guyana’s demanding fans, who are eager to see the team break the finals jinx. The Amazon Warriors have reached four finals in the six-year history of the CPL and lost all (2013, 2014, 2016, 2018).
“Of course, everyone has their own expectation and a lot of people have asked me the question that Guyana has always qualified for the final but never pulled it off.
I don’t think I’m one of those who looks at the past and what has happened. This is a new year and new playoff. Negative thoughts always put you on the back foot. We’re not looking at the back, we’re just focusing and looking at tomorrow’s game.”