CPL: Amazon Warriors coming home to win, says Shepherd
Reporting by Akeem Greene in Trinidad
“We are coming to win those games and hopefully lift the trophy.”
The words of a confident Romario Shepherd after his Man-of-the-Match performance led Guyana Amazon Warriors to a resounding 19-run win over arch rivals Trinbago Knight Riders at the Queen’s Park Oval, Monday evening.
Warriors departed the twin island republic Tuesday afternoon for home where they face a knocked-out Jamaica Tallawahs on Thursday from 18:00h and then the second bout with TKR on Friday from 20:00h.
The eighth successive triumph piloted the Warriors to a record number of consecutive wins in a single season of the Hero Caribbean Premier League.
Effectively, they had the record already when they hammered St. Lucia Zouks for their seventh win. Tallawahs had seven consecutive wins, but those were across two seasons (2013-2014).
Shepherd starred on both facets, mostly with the bat, hammering 32 from just 13 balls. He muscled two towering maximums and hit three bullet-like fours which allowed Warriors to post a challenging 185-6. Himself and Keemo Paul hammered TKR bowlers to score 42 runs of the final three overs.
“It is always good when you have runs under your belt when you go out to bowl, and I was 100% confident when I ran into bowl my first ball…[I am] never nervous when I go out to bat or bowl, I keep my eyes on the ball and try to hit them out of the park,” said the 24-year-old.
In just his second season, he has been a key component of the youthful Warriors, and has nine wickets thus far his season, the third most by his team, at a respectable economy rate of 7.41.
Another admiration was the calm himself and rest of the bowling group showcased, battling against dew and a partnership of 112 from 65 balls by the belligerent Kieron Pollard and Darren Bravo. Pollard, with a 38-ball 71 and Bravo with 58 from 46 balls, threatened to take it away at the end.
However, Paul bowled a penultimate over which only went for nine, and Imran Tahir easily defended 29 in the last six balls.
“We always talk about don’t panic no matter what is going on, just remain doing whatever you think is best so that is why we just hold our nerves and try to just to know that one wicket can change the game.”
The Berbician further responded to local journalists on the aspect of Warriors being the proverbial bridesmaid of the league, reaching the Playoff every season and losing four finals.
“We are just looking to be positive, we don’t mind about the negative stuff, we try to be remain positive. If we have to win all our games, we will be pushing to win all.”
Additionally, Warriors put to bed a passionate and sold-out Queen’s Park Oval, who cheered every ball for their home franchise, and turned silent when the Warriors enjoyed success.
“We always call this crowd, the 12th man, they usually come loud like in Guyana, so we just came out and tried to keep them silent…It is a confident booster, we always want to beat Trinidad no matter what, we played our best team today and it shows we wanted to beat them.”
Warriors, who have an unassailable 16 points, will now await the results of the other preliminary matches to see who they face in the Qualifier One, which if successful will send them straight to the final.