By Zaheer Mohamed
The Guyana Amazon Warriors have begun their 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League campaign in fine fashion, winning three out for three games at Providence, and their skipper Shoaib Malik said remaining consistent in the tournament is the key.
Following their victory against St. Lucia Zouks in their opening encounter on Thursday night by 13 runs, the Warriors defeated St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots by eight wickets on Saturday night before beating Barbados Tridents by 47 runs on Sunday night in front of a packed stadium.
Malik has led them admirably so far and speaking with the media following Sunday night encounter he admitted that their confidence is high. “When you win games, of course the confidence is there in the dressing room, especially the players who are in good form, we just have to stay consistent in the tournament, it’s just the beginning. We will be on the road for the next five games and we are looking forward to those games. We will try putting a good combination considering the grounds and opposition, we have all good players in the dressing room and staying consistent in the tournament is the key.”
Malik is pleased with the support from the Guyanese public, adding that he felt at home. “It doesn’t feel like I am outside of Pakistan, the ground was packed and people love and have so much passion about cricket, even whenever we come out from the hotel we get lots of support from all these people, its great to see and I would like to thank them for the support and that’s what I expect”, he added.
Malik entrusted Chandrapaul Hemraj with the new ball and he responded brilliantly by providing the Warriors with the breakthrough on Sunday night, removing the dangerous Alex Hales without scoring off the very first ball of the Tridents innings. “The ground has some history of supporting the spinners and that’s why I had one thing in mind, if I start off with Chandrapaul, he can give us a good start and take wickets. He took a very crucial wicket upfront and as we all know Alex Hales is a dangerous batsman and can score runs for his team, but Chanderpaul gave us a good breakthrough to start off with,” stated Malik.
The skipper said that members of the team are gelling nicely which is a plus. “We are gelling well and Hetty (Shimron Hetmyer) makes sure the dressing room is lively, it’s all about supporting each other. I am happy with the performance today; it’s a great sign for the team.”
“To be honest we have performed in all three departments, it’s just the fielding we need to improve in and we are going to have some fielding sessions and look forward for what’s coming our way.”
Malik pointed out that the fitness level is good and they will take some time off and get ready for their next assignment. “We will give a couple of days off to our guys so that they can relax a bit and prepare for the fixture in St. Kitts on September 14.
Hemraj scored his first T20 half century on Sunday night and laid the foundation for the Warriors sizeable total. He said it’s a wonderful experience and thanked the fans for their support. It’s a great experience, I must thank the crowd for the turn out for the three games, it was really amazing.”
He added that he enjoys bowling and is pleased with his form at the moment. “It’s important to make the most of the opportunities; I am hitting the ball well and I just want to remain consistent and bat deeper in the innings.
The Warriors next play St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots in St. Kitts on September 14.
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