Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
Paul Palmer Jr, vice-captain of University of the West Indies (UWI) says wanting to make a statement that they belong was one of the reasons why they were able to defeat Melbourne in the Jamaica Cricket Association JAMT20 last weekend.
The contest, which was played at Melbourne Oval, saw UWI, who are participating in their first national competition, coming out on top by eight wickets.
Melbourne, after winning the toss and electing to bat, posted a respectable 160 for five off their 20 overs with national Under-19 all-rounder Fabian Allen getting 33, Nikita Miller 28 not out, and captain Yannick Elliott, 28.
This was against Tyrone White, 2-16, and Palmer Jr, who ended with one for 20.
UWI, in their response, scored 172 for two off 16.2 overs with Desmond Jones scoring 70, and Palmer Jr, 62.
"It was a great feeling, one that we all trained hard and worked for," said Palmer Jr, who three years ago guided the country to the regional Under-19 double.
"We have been trying to get to play in national competitions for the past couple of years, and it was not until this year that we were allowed.
"We, therefore, saw a match like this against Melbourne as a good opportunity to make a statement that we can compete with the best, and thankfully it happened."
The victory, which was UWI's third in as many matches, placed them at the top of the group, and in the process helped to propel them to the quarterfinals.
Melbourne, in the meanwhile, were losing for the first time this season, and according to Elliott poor bowling and fielding led to the defeat.
"Overall we did not play well," said Elliott.
"It was a very good batting pitch, and after a good start we faded towards the end. We should have gotten at least another 30 runs.
"It was just a bad day for us, and a learning experience, and we hope that this was our only bad game of the season."
The match was the second of a double header at the venue.
The opening match between Lucas and Kingston and St Andrew saw the former coming out by 122 runs.