The Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) will come up against the Guyana Amazon Warriors in their eighth match of the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier at the Queen’s Park Oval tonight from 7 pm, looking to get back to winning ways but firm in the understanding that they are already into the playoffs.
TKR are in third position with nine points from seven matches, but their place in the playoffs was confirmed after the St Kitts Nevis Patriots defeated the Tridents by one run on Saturday night at the Kensington Oval in Barbados. The battle for the TKR now will be for second spot so that they get two chances at making the finals carded for October 12 at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba.
The Warriors are out front with 14 points from seven matches and will be looking to continue their momentum. Manager Omar Khan is not about to allow his team to let up, given that momentum at this stage is key.
“We don’t want to let up at this stage. As you know, winning is a habit and we have gotten into that habit. Losing is also a habit and we want to be at the top of our game all the time,” Khan told Guardian Media yesterday.
“We know the TKR will be tough to defeat at home but we have a much-improved outfit led by a man Shoaib Malik who has gotten them to respond. We will continue to play basic cricket well, stick to our plans and look to continue their efficient way we go about our business.”
The Oval is expected to be packed to the rafters tonight despite the fact that it is a Monday.
TKR have gone 15 days without a win in the campaign after flying out the blocks with four victories. But manager Colin Borde is not a worried man.
“We always say that you want to cover all ground before the play-offs. If there are things to iron out, you don’t want to get to the knockout stage to face this. You want to be able to work through your difficult areas, settle on your team and build that confidence going into the play-offs. This is where it starts for us now, leading into those matches and we are looking forward to ending strongly over the next three matches,” Borde said yesterday.
TKR are expected to bring in the England international Chris Jordan for his first match of the tournament tonight. He replaced Muhammad Hasnain, who was called back to Pakistan to play against Sri Lanka. Jordan is expected to join the American Ali Khan as the key men in the pace bowling department.
In 17 matches in CPL history, the TKR leads the Warriors 10-7. The TKR, however, have won six of the last eight encounters against them, including the 2018 final.