Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
Title hopefuls Melbourne and Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) will aim to book a spot in the quarter-finals of the Jamaica Cricket Association JAMT20 competition today.
Melbourne, who lead Zone A, will play second-place University of the West Indies (UWI) at Melbourne Oval beginning at 2 p.m.
JDF, who are third in Zone C, will square off with second-place University of Technology (UTech) at 10 a.m. at Up Park Camp.
Both matches will be a part of a double-header at both venues.
In the first game at Melbourne, Lucas will take on Kingston and St Andrew at 10:00 a.m, then at 2 p.m. at Up Park Camp Kensington will face off with newcomers Portmore.
"Both teams are playing consistent cricket, but I am backing my team to come out on top," said Melbourne captain Yannick Elliott.
"We are gelling, and though we are without some of our main players like (Carlton) Baugh and (Nikita Miller) and have been training hard, and it is just for us to put everything together."
Melbourne, in addition to Elliot, are expected to look to Damion Jacobs, Tarique White, and Sadiki Bolt, brother of sprinter Usain Bolt, to lead their batting.
Their bowling, meanwhile, is expected to be spearheaded by off-spinner Elliot, leg-spinner Jacobs, and left-arm spinner, Chris Lamont.
The UWI team
UWI will look to former national Under-19 players, captain Paul Palmer Jr and Oshane Walters, to guide their batting and West Indies Under-19 leg-spinner Donovan Nelson, their bowling.
At Up Park Camp, the army men will be hoping to leapfrog UTech through fast bowler Sheldon Cotterrell, Akbar Moodie, Dennis Bulli, Bereston Reid, Joseph Palmer and Rasheed Outar.
Cotterrell, off-spinner Moodie and left-arm wrist spinner Bulli will headline their bowling attack, while Palmer, Reid and Outar are expected to be their batting trump cards.
"It's going to be a tough one as UTech have a number of national players," said JDF captain Damion Gray.
"Their bowling seems to be their strength, which means we will have to bat well, something we are quite capable of."
UTech, to be led by new captain David Bernard Jr, will also have in their line-up Andrew Richardson and batsman Jon-Ross Campbell.
The competition is divided into six zones with the zone winners and two best second-place teams slated to advance to the quarter-finals.