Champs Jamaica Hunt Three Straight Wins
Jamaica will seek to extend their lead when they take on the Leewards Islands at Sabina Park in the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Regional Four-day Tournament fixture, starting at 10:00 this morning.
Jamaica lead the standings with 24 points, after claiming maxi-mum points from their two previous outings.
"Two wins in as many games is great way to start out in the defence of our title," said national coach Junior Bennett, after the team beat Barbados inside three days on Sunday.
"We now need to turn our attention to the Leewards who, despite starting bad, have good enough players in their line-up and will at some stage of the tournament come good."
Left-arm spinner Nikita Miller, who claimed Man-of-the-Match honours with 10 wickets against Barbados, will lead Jamaica's bowling with speedster Andrew Richardson, who claimed a five-for against the Windward Islands in the first match, and left-arm seamer Sheldon Cotterell, who bowled with pace and swing against Barbados.
The team's batting will centre around captain Tamar Lambert, whose two half-centuries against Barbados helped set the tone for Jamaica's victory.
Brendan Nash, following his unbeaten 49 in the first innings against the Windwards, followed up with scores of 25 and seven against the Bajans and will also be hoping to come good, as well as all-rounder David Bernard Jr and Carlton Baugh Jr.
Openers Simon Jackson and Danza Hyatt, who both looked tentative in their knocks of nought and 22, and 14 and 28, respectively, in the said game, will also be hoping for better fortunes.
The Leewards, who lost their first two matches heavily inside two days, have made three changes to their squad, which went down to an innings and 15-run defeat to the CCC in their last game.
They are West Indies one-day international wicketkeeper DevonThomas, who missed their first two matches due to injury, Haydn Walsh and all-rounder Javier Liburd.
Other players in the Leewards squad with West Indies experience are batsman Kieron Powell, leg-spinner Anthony Martin and all-rounder Gavin Tonge.
"We have been batting poorly and that is the main reason for our downfall thus far," said Leeward Islands captain Gavin Williams.
"But we have been bowling and fielding fairly well, and if we can get all the departments working together I have no doubt that we can compete and come away with a positive result."
- Jermaine Lannaman
Jamaica (from): Tamar Lambert (captain), Carlton Baugh Jr, David Bernard Jr, Odean Brown, Sheldon Cotterrell, Danza Hyatt, Simon Jackson, Jamie Merchant, Nikita Miller, Brendan Nash, Donovan Pagon, Brenton Parchment, Andrew Richardson.
Leewards (from): Gavin Williams (captain), Gavin Tonge, Anthony Martin, Justin Athanaze, Devon Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr, Jahmar Hamilton, Moncin Hodge, Javia Liburd, Nelson Bolan, Jason Campbell, Tonito Willett, Kieran Powell.