St Thomas, Melbourne battle for Senior Cup
The battle for Jamaica's cricket supremacy will get under way today when Melbourne CC and St Thomas CA square off in the final of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) Senior Cup at Sabina Park.
The two-day match-up, set to begin at 10 a.m. each day, will see Melbourne gunning for their first hold on the title since 2012.
St Thomas, in the meanwhile, have made their first trip to the final.
"It should be tough as they have West Indies and Jamaica experience in their ranks, as well as local players who have been doing well in recent years," said Nikita Miller, captain of Melbourne.
"However, we have similar quality players in our own right and should we play our best cricket, I expect us to come out on top."
Coached by Robert Samuels, who is away at a West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) coaching course in Barbados, Melbourne will look to their top runs scorer so far in American Steven Taylor, plus national batsman AndrÈ McCarthy, to lead their batting.
This is in addition to young Guyanese opener Trevon Griffith and the in-form Sadiki Bolt.
Their bowling will be spearheaded by Miller, left-arm spinner Chris Lamont, and new Jamaica Tallawahs recruit, teenage fast bowler Oshane Thomas.
St Thomas, whose ascendancy coincided with the election of new parish president Dennis Gordon, will primarily look to captain Carlton Baugh Jr, Antiguan batsman Devon Thomas, and former Jamaica youth captain Jamie Trenchfield in terms of batting exploits.
EYES ON BOWLERS
Meanwhile, as it relates to their bowling, much will be expected of Jamaica Scorpions fast bowlers Keno Wallace and Gavan Brown.
"It should be a close contest, but we believe we have what it takes to come out on top," said Baugh Jr, whose outfit defeated Melbourne on first-innings points in the group stages.
"We are peaking at the right time, and having played them before, we are aware of what it takes to beat them again."
St Thomas qualified for the final after beating Kingston at home on first-innings points in their semi-final meeting at Factories Oval.
Melbourne, in the meantime, who dethroned Jamaica Defence Force in quarter-finals, defeated University of The West Indies, also on first innings, in their semi-finals at the Sir Frank Worrell Oval.