Melbourne triumph over St Elizabeth
Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
Ryan Strachan, captain of Melbourne, said teamwork and strong individual performances were main ingredients in their Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) all-island Junior Cup title triumph over St Elizabeth, at Kensington Park last weekend.
The game, which was played over two days, saw Melbourne coming out on top after gaining first-innings points in a drawn encounter.
"We fulfilled our potential. We have promised much over the years in Junior Cup competitions but have not delivered. So to finally come good, it could not be sweeter," said Strachan.
"It was a total team effort and everybody must be congratulated as they contributed at different stages of the competition.
"Our focus now is on the next set of competitions, beginning with the JCA Super Cup, where we hope to go one step better than last season and win the championship," he declared.
St Elizabeth batted first and were bowled out for an even 200, with opener Brian Gayle getting 46 and national Under-19 captain, Paul Palmer Jr, 43, against leg-spinner, Shamar Anderson, four for 65, and off-spinners Christopher Lamont and Yannick Elliot, three for 26 and two for 47, respectively.
Melbourne, in their reply, piled up 374 with bowling all-rounder Jowayne Robinson scoring 89, Garfield Moore 68, Anderson 42, and Sadeki Bolt - brother of World and Olympic champion sprint double champion Usain - getting 37.
National Under-17 leg-spinner, Donovan Nelson, took four for 123 and Gayle, with two for 36, claimed most wickets for the St Elizabeth team.
Batting a second time, St Elizabeth reached 224-7 when stumps were drawn 10 minutes before the scheduled close.
St Elizabeth manager, Richard Walters, said though they would have loved to have won, they were not disappointed.
"We would have loved to have won the national final but, all in all, we have a lot to be proud of," said Walters.
"From the outset of the competition, the aim was to use the Junior Cup as a form of development and that was achieved. So we are not really that disappointed as the players were able to express themselves at a level higher than a Headley Cup," Walters said.