Cricket

Pollard holds hope despite Stars continued slump

Friday, August 24, 2018

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GROS ISLET, St Lucia — St Lucia Stars skipper Kieron Pollard has lamented Tuesday night's disastrous display against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, but holds hope his side can still turn around their failing campaign.

Sent in at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground, the hosts were bowled out for 69 inside 13 overs — the third lowest-ever total in Caribbean Premier League (CPL) — and Patriots wasted little time in chasing down their target off eight overs to complete an uncomplicated seven-wicket victory.

Ironically, the loss came on the heels of their first win in 15 matches last Friday when they amassed a CPL-record 226 to brush aside Barbados Tridents, but Pollard felt those heroics may have played in role in Tuesday's limp performance.

“Everything [went wrong] from the start. People expected a continuation [from the Tridents game] and I guess we went out and batted like we were continuing batting from the last game,” Pollard said afterwards.

“I was having a small conversation with some guys in the dressing room and I was telling them in this sort of scenario in cricket we start zero for zero — we don't start with what transpired in the last game.”

He continued: “I think that is exactly what happened and none of us as senior batsmen or batsmen as a whole decided to bat a couple overs to see if we could scrape to a 120, 130 and put up a fight and I think that was the most disappointing part — that no one, after seeing what had transpired in front of them, took that initiative to hang in there and see what we could get instead of getting bowled out for 69.”

The defeat was the Stars' fifth in six outings and it left them languishing bottom of the standings on two points, facing a must-win situation in their remaining games in order to reach the playoffs.

They host Guyana Amazon Warriors on Friday night and Jamaica Tallawahs 24 hours later, before ending their preliminary-round campaign with two road games.

Pollard said the attitude and approach of the players to the remaining games would be critical to the outcome.

“[We can expect] obviously an improved performance from this. I told the guys and I have stressed about complacency in the dressing room,” Pollard said.

“We wanted to get that monkey off our backs in terms of winning one game but that wasn't the be-all and end-all of it. It was a situation where we should have come out here and tried to capitalise on that momentum so I think it is back to square one where we have to fight and I'm sure the attitudes are going to be different.”

He added: “We are in a position where we have to win our next four games — we have two home games and then we have two games on the road so a much- improved performance is needed.

“I think the guys, we've been doing well and when you look at it, it's two games where we've actually been outplayed and which is Trinidad (Trinbago Knight Riders) and this one [against Patriots] so the fight needs to come back, and we need to get that belief and continue and see what transpires.

“Cricket is a funny game as we've all seen so it's about regrouping and coming back better.”

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