Nelson keen to make final cut
Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
When Jamaica's Super50 trial matches get going on Friday, one player who will be looking to cement a spot in the final squad of 14 is 21-year-old leg-spinner Donovan Nelson.
The former West Indies Under-19 representative was impressive last weekend during the second of two two-day warm-up practice matches at Sabina Park.
He claimed six for 29 in the first innings of the drawn encounter, which was contested between Nkrumah Bonner XI and Paul Palmer Jr XI.
His performance was also the best for any bowler throughout the two games.
"I believe it was a good start, as not many bowlers do so well in their first senior-level match," said Nelson.
"I thought I bowled well wicket-to-wicket, as I had two wickets where I clean bowled the batsmen and another two leg before wicket.
"I also bowled with some variations, such as flighted deliveries, slide-ons and the googly.
"I just hope I will be able to carry this form into the Super50 and four-day trial matches."
Nelson, a second-year student at the University of the West Indies, is currently among three established leg-spinners who could be in the reckoning to replace the injured Odean Brown.
The 31-year-old Brown has been carrying a knee injury and underwent an operation on Monday. He is expected to be out for four to six weeks.
The other leg-spinners - who if selected would partner left-arm spinner Nikita Miller as specialist spinners in the squad - are Melbourne's Damion Jacobs and Akeem Dewar, who has represented the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC).
The 22-year-old Dewar was also a member of the victorious Jamaica Tallawahs, which won the inaugural Caribbean Premier League T20 this year, while Jacobs has been the leading wicket-taker in the national Senior Cup and one-day tournaments for the past two seasons.
Jacobs also claimed four for 18 and two for 17 in the second two-day warm-up practice match.
"If a spot is available for a specialist spinner in either of the teams I want to be that person," said Nelson.
"I know it will be tough as there are other good, experienced spinners in the squad. However, I don't really look at my competition. My aim is to just go out there and perform and show the selectors what I can do."
Nelson, who captained Jamaica at the Under-15, Under-17 and Under-19 levels, also expressed hope of playing for CCC, should he be overlooked by Jamaica's selectors.
"I know I am eligible to play for the CCC, but right now my focus and attention is on trying to make the Jamaica team, as it is my first choice to play for my country."
The Super50 trials is set to include five matches, while two have been earmarked to complement the four-day trials.