One of the biggest games in Bermuda history’
Head coach Clay Smith is imploring his charges to take their fresh final chance with both hands if Bermuda are going to retain their place in ICC World Cricket League Division Four.
Bermuda and Malaysia will replay tomorrow (10.30 start tonight, Bermuda time) after their match today was washed out three overs shy of being official.
Malaysia had the upper hand marginally, but even with a victory Bermuda would not have done enough to stay up on net run-rate.
Now, with the fixture moved to Kinrara Oval, which has been more conducive to free-scoring, Smith is hopeful Bermuda can find their “A” game.
“Today was always going to be a tall order, especially once we lost the toss and were sent to field,” he said. “The wicket that we played on is probably the best in the tournament. Tomorrow we go back to play on the field where we beat Jersey, so hopefully we can produce the same result.
“This game is one of the biggest games in Bermuda history and we have to make sure we are up for it.”
They will have to do so without Stephen Outerbridge, the former captain, who is leaving the tour to return to the island early because of work commitments. The left-handed batsman was due to miss only the relatively insignificant play-off round to determine final positions.
The lesser significance of those fixtures was made clear when they were cancelled to make room for an extra day for the round robin to be completed.
Outerbridge’s replacement is likely to be Steven Bremar, who has discovered the standards at Division Four are quite different to what was encountered last month in Argentina, where he was the hero in a last-ditch rearguard action to beat Cayman Islands in the ICC Americas T20 Sub Regional final.
“Yes, he is overdue and he would want to contribute,” Smith said of Bremar. “We know he is explosive when he is on, so I am backing him to produce the goods. He showed us in Argentina he is capable and he showed us in Dubai that he is capable. As coach, I will have a quiet word with him and reassure him that he has my full backing and that he is a vital part of our success.
“Confidence breeds confidence and hopefully this will be his day to shine.”
The other player requiring a word is off spinner Jacobi Robinson, who missed today’s game with a fractured left hand. That led to captain Terryn Fray taking a gamble on Tre Manders’s leg spin, which brought a wicket.
But Smith is aware that banking on Manders to replicate or improve on his one for 11 from three overs would be a gamble too far going into the replay.
“I will have a chat with Jacobi to see if he is willing to play through the pain,” Smith said. “Whatever decision he makes, I will respect his decision.”
The coach could start by first reminding, or more likely educating, his player about the feats of the late great Malcolm Marshall against England at Headingley Carnegie in 1984.
Smith added: “We know our calculations of what we have to beat Malaysia by, but we will also be keeping a close eye on the Uganda-Jersey game because that can also have an effect on how we go about things.
“At the end of the day, we have to trust and believe in what we do and in the processes, and play to the best of our ability.”
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