DEFENDING champions Jamaica will look to extend their winning form when they challenge the Leeward Islands in the fifth round of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Super 50 cricket competitions at Sabina Park this morning, beginning at 9:30 a.m.
The Jamaicans, who have won their three previous matches, will be without top batsmen Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels, who are currently on West Indies duties facing up to Zimbabwe in the second and final Test in Dominica.
However, they will be boosted by another West Indies player, all-rounder André Russell, who delayed his departure to participate in the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 Championship in India, to help strengthen the Jamaica team.
Russell was due to leave the island today, but pushed back travel plans to play in not only the Super50, but the Four-Day match against the same team, which starts on Saturday.
youthful and experienced
Tamar Lambert will again lead a Jamaica team balanced with youth and experience, an outfit which is virtually similar to that which started the campaign. Impressive left-arm spinner Nikita Miller, and with Odean Brown, who has also done well bowling spin, number among the key players, with top batsmen Nkrumah Bonner, Danza Hyatt, David Bernard Jr and Carlton Baugh Jr also in their line-up.
The Leewards, who arrived in the island on Monday, are at the foot of the table without a point after losing all three Super50 matches so far, but noted that they are looking to change their fortunes in this match against Jamaica.
We have been practising very hard to be consistent, which we haven't done in our last three one-day games," their captain, Shane Shillingford, said. "We got a break and, hopefully, we can restart on a winning note against the Jamaicans."
Shillingford apart, Devon Dmith, the season's leading run-getter, will lead their batting.