Ja, Barbados showdown
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):
Defending champions Jamaica will take aim at their second straight title when they take on unbeaten Barbados in the final of the Regional Women's Super50 today.
The two topped the standings after the fifth preliminary round of the competition was completed Friday, and will now do battle at the National Cricket Centre for the honour of Caribbean women's champions.
Barbados were outstanding throughout the round robin phase, topping the standings with 18 points from three wins, with one tied game and one no-result.
Jamaica, meanwhile, finished second in the standings on 16 points, after also winning three, but losing one and enduring one no-result.
Today's final will be a repeat of the first-round clash when Barbados prevailed over the Jamaicans by 32 runs.
On that occasion, Jamaica were let down by their batting. Chasing a mere 173 for victory, the Jamaicans faltered badly and failed to get past 150.
Their batting did not improve significantly afterward, even though they went on a winning streak to close out the preliminaries strongly.
Following their abandoned game with South Windwards, they defended 148 to crush the lowly North Windwards by 16 runs in the third round before beating then leaders Trinidad and Tobago in a pivotal fourth-round game by 19 runs in Couva.
In the fifth-round game on Friday, they put up perhaps their best showing of the tournament, posting 210 for five to overcome Guyana by 86 runs on the Duckworth/Lewis method.
One of the keys for Jamaica will be the form of West Indies batting star Stafanie Taylor, who has already stroked two half-centuries in the tournament.
Barbados, meanwhile, will see winning the final as the crowning of a great campaign over the last two weeks.
They, too, suffered a second-round washout at Gilbert Park against Guyana and then proceeded to whip South Windwards by 126 runs after getting up to 212 for eight batting first at National Cricket Centre.
The key to Barbados' success has been their batting with opener Hayley Matthews, Deandra Dottin, Kyshona Knight, Malissa Howard and captain Shaquana Quintyne all getting half-centuries throughout the tournament.