Senior Cup semis start today
St Thomas CA and University of the West Indies (UWI) will be hoping to make full use of home conditions when they entertain Kingston CC and Melbourne CC, respectively, in the semi-final action of the Jamaica Cricket Association Senior Cup today.
The two-day matchups will see St Thomas and Kingston squaring off at Goodyear Oval, while relative newcomers, the UWI, will entertain former champions Melbourne at the Sir Frank Worrell Oval.
"We won our preliminary-round zone and our quarter-final outright and are in form and looking to go all the way," said Dennis Gordon, president of St Thomas.
"Our bowling attack has been consistent, while our batting continues to improve, and as such, Kingston will have to come good if they are to beat us."
St Thomas' bowling will be spearheaded by national fast bowlers Keno Wallace and Gavan Brown, while captain Carlton Baugh Jr as well as former national youth captain Jamie Trenchfield and the in-form Oshane Roberts will lead the batting.
Kingston, on the other hand, will look to the tournament's top runs-getters, captain Brandon King, national all-rounder Derval Green, and Garth Garvey to lead their batting.
The penetrative left-arm spin pair of Paul Harrison and Patrick Harty alongside Green have been their most consistent bowlers.
The other semi-final is set to have the unusual occurrence of the same person, national assistant coach Robert Samuels, preparing both teams.
The former West Indies, Jamaica, and Melbourne batsman has been coaching the UWI at the tertiary level since 2002.
He then took up similar duties at Melbourne in 2012, two years before the UWI were allowed to participate in national competitions.
"I am expecting quality cricket from two quality teams," was all Samuels was prepared to say ahead of the semi-final.
"I think either team can come out on top as Melbourne have experience on their side and top Jamaican players in Nikita Miller and AndrÈ McCarthy.
"But UWI have youth and fitness on their side, and players with first-class experience in young Jamaica captain Paul Palmer Jr and the exciting Rovam Powell."