Tucker: Don’t slip up against Cayman
Janeiro Tucker, Bermuda's assistant coach, has challenged his side to take a step closer to fulfilling their ambition of qualifying for the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier in Dubai, with victory over winless Cayman Islands today.
Bermuda head into the third encounter of the Americas Qualifier in a strong position, sitting at the top of the standings along with Canada with three points but second on net run rate, after following up a six-run win over the United States on Saturday, and by claiming a point on Monday after their match with Canada was washed out.
Although Tucker is adamant Bermuda will not underestimate Cayman, who remain pointless after back-to-back defeats, he is aware another victory will strengthen his team's claim for one of the top two qualifying spots for the next round in October and November.
“We'll go out and look after ourselves and hopefully get those two points,” Tucker said. “If we can get another two points, I think we'll be in control for one of those top two spots and that's all we're striving for.
“We'll be going into the next match looking for a win; we're not looking for any favours. They're a good side and we won't be taking them for granted.
“We had a look at Cayman in their defeat to Canada and there are definitely lessons we learnt from that game.
“The victory against the US was a big result for us. They're an ODI team, but to get that victory wasn't surprising because we've put the hard work in over the last four months.
“We play to win in every match and that victory really got us off to a great start.
“Our main aim is to get to Dubai; we're targeting one of those top two spots, and another victory would give us a strong chance of doing that.”
From their opening two encounters, Bermuda endured differing fortunes with the bat, posting 141 for seven against the United States compared with 82 for nine against Canada in a game that was reduced to 16 overs a side. The Canadians were unlucky not to take victory, having seen the rain halt their progress when poised for success.
However, Tucker believes a major contributing factor to the contrast in performance was the considerable difference in the wicket at White Hill Field and North Field, National Sports Centre.
“A lot of what we're able to do relies on the surface because they are two very different wickets,” added Tucker, whose side return to White Hill Field today.
“The wicket wasn't particularly good and was worse for us than at White Hill. However, we'll take the point because they were looking pretty comfortable after three overs and, so in that sense, we were quite pleased the rain came because that point puts us in a better position than if we had lost.
“The surface here [North Field] looks like it takes a lot of turn and the boundaries look a lot bigger.
“White Hill seemed to play into our favour and being the home team in this competition, the venues should play to our advantage. We definitely seem better suited to White Hill and that is definitely, from my point of view, where we will be looking to get the majority of our points.
“The differing boundaries and surfaces definitely has a major impact in Twenty20.
“It played against us here [North Field] and we don't really have the players to adapt to that, unfortunately.
“We have to try and find a way of adjusting because we have another two matches here later in the competition and, so, we'll have to go back to the drawing board and revise a new plan.”