By Neto Baptiste
Veteran opening batsman, Cleton Payne, believes that his Anderson Carty Empire Nation team will rebound following back to back losses in the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) Super 40 Competition last weekend.
Payne, a former national player, said that while their aim was to go unbeaten, they have faced what he considers the toughest teams in the competition to date.
“We can’t be scoring 190 runs and expect to bowl 40 extras and win a match. When you are not scoring well, you need to bowl tight, and I think that was one of our downfalls over the last weekend. It is difficult to lose one match because we don’t want to lose any, but what I can say is that in the tournament so far, is that we noticed we have played more of the harder teams, and the remaining five games we’re looking forward to being more competitive,” he said.
Empire went down by three wickets to table toppers CUB Bethesda Golden Eagles on Sunday. The Gray’s Farm men had previously lost by a similar margin to New Winthorpes Lions 24 hours earlier.
Payne had a top score of 61 against Bethesda on Sunday, but managed only two runs against New Winthorpes on Saturday.
The player admitted that his personal performances have been affected due to work but believes once he remains committed that they will improve.
“I work for myself so I try to do a lot for myself right now and it’s more difficult for me because sometimes I am only getting in two practice days per week. However, my mental toughness is the thing that has been getting me through these games because I am putting my foot down and I am trying to take some responsibility. I tell the coach that sometimes I feel like I am not performing but I want to so just give me the opportunity,” Payne said.
Empire occupies the sixth position on the 10-team standings with eight points after two wins and two losses in four matches.