Jamaica look to rebound
Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
Coach Junior Bennett has expressed quite a lot of optimism concerning Jamaica Franchise's chances heading into today's third-round WICB NAGICO Insurance Super50 tie with West Indies Under-19s at the National Cricket Centre in Trinidad and Tobago.
The contest, set to get underway 8:30 a.m. Jamaica time, will see Jamaica looking to record a win to qualify for the semi-finals from Group B.
West Indies Under-19s, in the meanwhile, who have lost their two games thus far, will be looking to keep their slim hopes of advancing by pulling off a surprise win.
Jamaica, after blowing away Leeward Islands Hurricanes by nine wickets, went down by 17 runs to Trinidad and Tobago Red Force on Sunday night.
Hoping for improvement
"We are not taking any team lightly, but we are looking to keep improving and get a positive result, which will secure a semi-final spot for us," said Bennett.
"The spirit in the team is still good despite the loss to Trinidad, as it was a game that we set up nicely and faltered in the end."
Jamaica, favourites to progress from the group with Trinidad and Tobago, are likely to stick with the squad from Sunday, when captain Rayad Emrit's incisive maiden regional one-day five-wicket haul proved the difference, as Trinidad and Tobago Red Force beat Jamaica Franchise by 17 runs to win their second straight game. The 33-year-old seamer finished with five for 56 to help reduce Jamaica to 215 all out off 49.1 overs, crippling their pursuit of 233 for victory at Queen's Park Oval.
Opener Nkrumah Bonner stroked 51 at the top of the order, Dave Bernard Jr got 40, and André McCarthy, 37, while John Campbell hit 26. Seamer Kevon Cooper chipped in with three for 34 to support Emrit.
Earlier, T&T were guided to 232 all out off 49.3 overs by Darren Bravo's 55, with support coming from his West Indies teammate, Kieron Pollard, with 41. Dwayne Bravo, the discarded Windies one-day skipper, scored 34, and wicketkeeper Steven Katwaroo stroked 31.
Fast bowler Derval Green claimed three for 65, while left-arm spinner Nikita Miller (2-18), speedster Marquino Mindley (2-36) and seamer Dave Bernard (2-48) all finished with two wickets apiece.
Nkrumah Bonner, who has scored back-to-back fifties, Tamar Lambert, Jermaine Blackwood, and David Bernard Jr are expected to lead their batting, with captain Nikita Miller and Bernard Jr the main bowlers.
West Indies Under-19s, who lost by 48 runs to the Leewards on Sunday, will be hoping for improved showings from their mixture of players who are preparing for next year's ICC Youth World Cup and immediate past players.
This includes Jamaican captain, off-spinner Ramaal Lewis, batsman Tagenarine Chanderpaul and 17-year-old Grenadian Roland Cato, who top-scored with 46 in their loss to the Leewards.
Group B leaders Trinidad and Tobago will play the Leewards at 1:30 p.m. Jamaica time at Queen's Park Oval in the day's other fixture.