x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

The dream lives on despite poor start

On my way to the ground for our first game I had the whole article written and ready, but one Twenty20 game later it had all changed.

On my way to the ground for our first game I had the whole article written and ready, but one Twenty20 game later it had all changed. The lead-up to the first game against the West Indies had been great, the mood was up, everyone was executing the skills well and we were prepared. We had gone through what we needed to do and batting and bowling groups were set. The excitement among the group was amazing with every-one looking forward to the World Championships of the newest cricketing craze.

The New Zealand versus Scotland game was reduced to a seven-over game, and our break between games to 30 minutes. The warm up took place in indoor nets under the grandstand and there was only a net between the two teams. We got out on the ground at the end of the other game, had a bowl and caught a few high balls. As the game got under way the dream start we were after was just that, a dream, as we were quickly two wickets down. But as this team has shown before and will for many more years to come, we are never down for long.

The batsman worked hard and set up a good total - 169 - for the bowlers to bowl at. You always hope to be able to bowl at a massive total, but they gave us enough to work with. Then the Chris Gayle and Adrian Fletcher show began with a bang. Both the batsman were aggressive, chanced their arms and, to their credit, we were on the back foot. They ended passing our total with just three wickets down and a couple of overs to go. It wasn't the dream first game we were after, but the positive was the way the guys reacted, still pushing and working hard trying to get wickets and work out a way to try to get over the line.

Now the focus has already moved on to the next game against Sri Lanka at Trent Bridge. The players spent the three-hour trip to Nottingham looking at footage, reading notes and getting their heads around how we are going to win this game and get back on the road to our aim of winning the ICC World Twenty20 Championship. Sri Lanka are a dangerous side with key players with the bat and ball. They have an aggressive, fast strike bowler, a world-class spinner, and some tremendous batsmen.

We are in the position where our future in the tournament is in our hands. It is for us to control; our team love this idea, we enjoy the fact we can control our destiny in the tournament and show that we are a team who can win this. It is up to us to be mentally and physical ready for Sri Lanka, be fresh and comfortable that our skills are in the right place. Hopefully next time I sit here writing another article, I will be writing that we prepared and executed everything towards a great win.

sports@thenational.ae