BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – In-form opener Dwayne Smith believes Barbados Tridents has sufficient quality to turn their season around and reach the playoffs of the Caribbean Premier League.
Tridents, the 2014 champions, won their opening game but have since lost four of their last five – including their last three outings – to slip outside the playoff zone in fifth place on four points.
Smith said, however, the side was packed with quality experienced players, and backed them to get positive results in the home leg at Kensington Oval starting next Tuesday.
“The plan is to win; we have to win as much as we can,” Smith told reporters here as the squad beefed up preparations for the upcoming games.
“It was difficult for us losing on Sunday night [to Guyana Amazon Warriors] but I’m sure that the guys can pick themselves up and we can come out and win at least three games out of the four. I’m sure we can qualify with that.
“Barring two or three guys, a lot of these guys have played more than 20 T20s so they should have some sort of inside fight to pull themselves up and I’m sure that we can.
“I know the coach (Robin Singh) and the captain (Kieron Pollard) are going to do it as well.”
After a run of starts without getting a big score, the 34-year-old Smith found his best form last Sunday when he blasted a 69-ball century against Amazon Warriors – even though in a losing cause at the Guyana National Stadium in Georgetown.
The century was Smith’s fourth in Twenty20s and his third in the CPL following two superb innings at Kensington Oval in the 2014 season.
Smith said while the result had been disappointing, his innings had been vital in sending a warning to his critics.
“The hundred was pleasing because a lot of people had said I was unfit and I am proving them wrong,” the Barbadian right-hander said.
“Every year I prove them wrong. I felt really good batting on Sunday night against Amazon Warriors to score the hundred. It was important to let the fans see that I still had it.”
He added: ““I would love to get another two hundreds here at Kensington Oval but you have to play it ball by ball but once I spend time at the crease, I know that I can get another hundred. Once I spend time at the crease I know that I will score runs.”
Tridents open their home leg against Amazon Warriors next Tuesday before taking on winless St Lucia Stars two days later.
They welcome leaders Trinbago Knight Riders in the first game of the weekend doubleheader on September 2 before taking on reigning champions Jamaica Tallawahs the following day.
Despite the task ahead of the Tridents, Smith said he felt at ease.
“I don’t feel pressure playing at home. I love playing at home so I don’t feel any pressure. I know the pitch very good so I won’t have any pressure.”