Paul Clarke, Gleaner Writer
FORMER WEST Indies Under-19 and current national senior team batsman Jermaine Blackwood hit a half-century to steer Hanover to a nine-wicket victory in their Western Zone Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) All-Island Limited-Overs competition against Trelawny on Saturday.
Blackwood, who carried his bat for 51 not out in his team's successful chase of Trelawny's paltry total of 113 all out, combined well with Kenar Lewis (52 not out) to give his team the important win at 115-1 off 17.5 overs in their match at Elgin Town.
The stroke-filled half-century is his first of the competition. It was a good response after the Chester Anderson-coached Trelawny side won the toss and opted to take first strike.
"It was a good day for us with both bat, and ball, and we performed well against Trelawny with a useful knock from both nationals," said Hanover coach Carlton Simpson.
"Blackwood and Lewis are national players and they showed their class in this match, and we hope that the guys will continue to play well by restricting theopposition as well as to bat sensibly, and this will make the team successful," he said.
The win lifted them to joint first in the standings alongside Westmoreland, who stormed to a 22-runvictory over St James at the Little London cricket ground to also record a second straight outright win of the campaign.
Hanover and Westmoreland will clash in Saturday's third round at Little London, and Simpson believes it will be a competitive affair.
"Westmoreland is a strong team and have players capable of winning matches for them, but we, too, are a good side and our players are equally good," Simpson added.
"So it is shaping up to be a tough game on Saturday, and certainly the winners of the zone will come from either my team or them."
The Western Zone champion will meet the South Central Zone winner in the June 29 semi-final, while Corporate Zone champions will take on the winners from the Eastern Zone in the other semi-final - the winners will advance to the Saturday, July 6 final at Sabina Park.