Marshall hopes to shine in semis
Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
Sidelined West Indies opener Xavier Marshall says despite not making a big score on his return to regional first-class action last weekend, he is looking forward to this weekend's semi-final showdown against Shivnarine Chanderpaul's Guyana at Sabina Park.
The 26-year-old, who made scores of 21 and 23 in Jamaica's 154-run win over the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) at the Three W's Oval in Barbados, made the remarks shortly after the arrival of both teams yesterday at the Norman Manley International Airport.
"I got some starts. Unfortunately, I did not carry on," said Marshall, who was making his return after being dropped by national selectors for poor form two season's ago.
"But I am still capable of doing the job and getting big hundreds, and in the next match coming up against Guyana the hope is that I can carry on if I get a start.
"When I made a return to the Jamaica team last time around I did not make much runs as I was not concentrating enough. But I am getting myself back together and know what I have to do," he added.
Jamaica, hunting a record fifth straight hold on the crown, head into Friday's semi-final as overwhelming favourites, having notched up a perfect record of six wins in as many games in the preliminary round.
Guyana made the final four after claiming the fourth and final qualifying spot, having conjured a record of three wins, one draw and two losses.
Jamaica defeated Guyana by eight wickets when both teams met in the preliminary round at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.
"I think Guyana is good team with talented players who are capable of doing well," said Marshall. "However, once we just hold our heads high and continue to do what we have been doing I am confident that we will continue to make the country proud."
Guyana's coach, Esuan Crandon, whose team will also include Devendra Bishoo and Narsingh Deonarine, says his team will be looking to pull off a surprise.
"We are looking forward to a tough game against Jamaica as they have been very consistent throughout the tournament," said Crandon.
"However, having said that, I think my guys are well prepared, and come game time we will be giving it our all."
Trinidad and Tobago will host Barbados in the other semi-final in Port-of-Spain.