Sun | Aug 28, 2016

Upbeat Lambert

Published:Friday | January 11, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Tamar Lambert - WICB photo

Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer

Captain Tamar Lambert is backing Jamaica to come good in their final three preliminary-round matches and book a spot in the next round of the on-going Caribbean Twenty20 tournament.

Jamaica, who will play the Leeward Islands in the fourth game today at the Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad and Tobago, are currently third in the seven-team tournament on five points.

Title-holders Trinidad lead the standings with nine points, while Barbados are second with eight.

"I still believe we have a good chance of making it through to the next round of the competition," said Lambert after his team's 12-run win over the Windward Islands on Wednesday.

"The team is gelling and growing in confidence and once we continue to show the improvements as we did in our last game, I am confident we can finish in the top three and qualify for the next round," he added.

automatic qualification

The tournament will see the top team in the preliminary round qualifying for the final automatically.

The second- and third-place teams will then play off for the other final spot.

Jamaica, who are without Chris Gayle, who just concluded playing in the Australia Big Bash League, and Marlon Samuels, who picked up an injury while playing in the same league, played to a no-result with Trinidad in their opening game before going down by five wickets to Barbados.

Against the Leewards, Jamaica's coaching staff led by Junior Bennett, are again expected to ring the changes as they did in the second and third games, as they seek to find the right combination.

In the game against Barbados, Jamaica left out emerging left-arm fast bowler Sheldon Cotterrell, and brought in debutant off-spinner, Jamie Merchant, as they sought to play on their opponents' traditional weakness against spin.

The move had limited success as despite ending with steady figures of one for 14 off three overs, Merchant was dismissed for a duck in Jamaica's low score of 72.

This prompted Bennett to include an additional batsman against the Windwards with Andre McCarthy getting the nod ahead of Merchant. McCarthy made 19 in Jamaica's 116 off 17 overs (the overs were reduced due to rain) to follow up their paltry 72 against Barbados. Bennett could again experiment with Yannick Elliott, the other specialist batsman in the 14-member squad.