Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Having lost their last three one-day matches, Leeward Islands captain Sylvester Joseph is hoping that his batsmen will deliver when they face defending champions Jamaica in their Regional Super50 cricket match at Sabina Park on Thursday.
Joseph, who along with the rest of his team arrived in the island yesterday, said they have been working very hard in training for this crucial encounter.
"We have to try and go out and produce the goods by doing the basics right," said Joseph.
"We have been practising very hard to be consistent, which we haven't done in our last three one-day games. We got a break and hopefully we can restart on a winning note against the Jamaicans," he said.
Joseph added: "We have a pretty balanced team because we have some guys that have been around for a long time, we have guys like Gavin Tonge, Anthony Martin, Devon Thomas and I think it's time now for us to put up our hands, especially the batting team, and go out and put a good total on the board."
He noted that the Jamaicans have been playing some excellent cricket this season and he says it is going to be very tough to defeat them on home turf in both formats (50-over and four-day) of the game.
"It is going to be difficult, especially since Jamaica is on a winning streak and they are at home," Joseph said. "We came here to play good cricket, and I believe that if we play the calibre of cricket that we have been practising, then we stand a great chance in both matches."
The Leewards, who are due to face Jamaica in the four-day competition on March 23, are second from bottom in the table on seven points.
Joseph stated that his bowlers have been performing, but the batsmen need to step up.
"The bowling has been doing a wonderful job for us, but the record shows that it is the batting that has been letting us down at the moment," he said.
"The players are in a confident mood, but we know that we have to go out and play competitive cricket in both forms of the game," Joseph reasoned.
Along with Joseph, the Leewards' batting will centre around Tonito Willett, Montcin Hodge and Devon Thomas. Their bowling will be spearheaded by Tonge, along with Anthony Martin and Lionel Baker.