January 15, 2013
Lambert expects tough match against Guyana
Krishmar Santokie ... will be a key bowler for Jamaica. - file
The race for a spot in the top three continues in the Caribbean Twenty20 tournament today.
Action in the tournament has switched to St Lucia and Jamaica will face Guyana in the opening match today at 3 p.m (Ja time) before defending champions Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) oppose 'home' team the Windward Islands (7 p.m.) at the Beausejour Cricket Ground.
At the end of the action-packed first phase at Queen's Park Oval, T&T lead the points table. T&T played unbeaten at home to record three wins and a no-result due to a wash-out and are on 13 points.
Jamaica sit in second spot on the table on nine points from four matches. There is a three-way tie for third place with Barbados, Wind-wards and Guyana all on eight points. Windwards and Guyana have both played three matches while Barbados have played four times.
Combined Campuses and Colleges are in sixth place on four points from four matches. The Leewards have lost all four matches so far and are no longer in contention for a top three spot.
"It should be a very good game as Guyana has really good players," said Jamaica captain, Tamar Lambert, who along with other members of the team travelled from Trinidad to St Lucia on Sunday.
Jamaica, who have never won the tournament, and are boasting one of their weakest teams on paper in years, have been far from impressive.
However, thanks to close wins over the Windward and Leeward Islands, and a rained-out no-result against Trinidad, they remain in the mix for a play-off spot.
"When you look at Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan these are players that can win a match at any given time. They also have (Narsingh) Deonarine and (Devendra) Bishoo.
"But we have good players too with senior players Andre Russell, Danza Hyatt, David Bernard Jr and myself doing fairly well in our last two matches, and once we continue to work hard, I am confident can win."
Guyana, who won the inaugural tournament in 2010, started well with victories over the Leewards and the Combined Campuses and Colleges, but fell to a huge 80-run loss to Trinidad in their third match at the weekend.
Lambert expects the pitch at the Beausejour Stadium to favour the batsmen.
"The pitch is usually good for batting, and if it is the case heading into the match, it will give our batsmen a lot of confidence to play their shots, unlike the pitches in Trinidad, which were on the slow side, and tended to favour bowlers," he said.
Under the new tournament format, the team which tops the preliminary round will advance to the grand final on Sunday, January 20 at the picturesque Beausejour Cricket Ground. The second and third placed teams will meet in the play-off on Saturday, January 19. The winners of the play-off will advance to the final.
M W L NR Pts
Trinidad 4 3 0 1 13
Jamaica 4 2 1 1 9
Windwards 3 2 1 0 8
Barbados 4 2 2 0 8
Guyana 3 2 1 0 8
CCC 4 1 3 0 4
Leewards 4 0 4 0 0
M - matches, W-wins, L - losses, NR - no result, Pts - points.