Barbados hoping rain stays away for Jamaica clash
Barbados Pride just cannot seem to escape the rain.
Last weekend, they watched helplessly as the adverse weather ruined their first round game in the WICB Professional Cricket League against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, wrecking their chances of grabbing an outright win in Port of Spain.
And if Barbados thought a return to familiar conditions would bring a change of fortune, their hopes were quickly dashed yesterday as a trough system moved across the island dumping heavy rains.
They will face Jamaica Franchise in the second round of the PCL starting today at Windward Cricket Club and with more rain forecast, captain Kraigg Brathwaite said he was keeping his fingers crossed for good weather, especially following the rain-marred opening game.
“Obviously [the last game against Trinidad] was disappointing but at the end of the day you can’t do anything about the rain,” Brathwaite told Barbados Today yesterday.
“That’s just how life goes. I thought the guys put in a good effort –– especially the bowlers put in a good effort – and it’s now for the guys to keep working hard.
“Obviously it would be good to get good weather for the four days. We expect it to be a very competitive game but we are ready to put in the work that we have to do.”
Both teams will come into the contest on the heels of strong performances in the opening round. Barbados’ batting clicked against Red Force, piling up 360 with Brathwaite leading the way with a superb 182.
Wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich chipped in with 76 but it was the Barbados bowlers who were more impressive, bundling out the hosts for 96 in their first innings and then reducing them to 213 for five in their second innings.
Jamaica, meanwhile, will enter the game with confidence especially after holding their nerve to beat Windward Islands Volcanoes by 13 runs at Sabina Park in Kingston.
Their batting, however, was not convincing on either occasion, calling for 208 and 162, but Brathwaite said they would be a very difficult team to play against.
“It’s going to be tough. Jamaica has some very experienced bowlers so obviously as a batting unit we will have to work a little harder,” said the 21-year-old.
“It will be a good game and we just hope the rain stays away and hopefully we can get those four days of good cricket.”
Barbados, too, had their wobbles against T&T. In fact, they were tottering slightly at 85 for four just after lunch on the first day before Brathwaite and Dowrich spared them blushes with a fifth wicket stand of 176.
Brathwaite, however, does not believe this is cause for major concern.
“No I’m not worried at all. It was the first game and probably some of the guys were just a bit rusty but I believe that the batsmen are capable of scoring big runs and I think it is only a matter of time before the top order does extremely well,” he pointed out.
Barbados will again boast a strong bowling attack including Test seamers Kemar Roach and Jason Holder. West Indies left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn, who missed the first round match through injury, is fit again and he will join rookie left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican who was among the wickets in the first round.
“Over the past year, the Barbados bowling has been doing quite well and obviously I am quite pleased with the bowling,” Brathwaite noted.
“Obviously having Benn back is a plus for the team. The guys just have to be prepared and I believe we will only get better.”
Brathwaite will be playing his last game before heading off to South Africa with the West Indies squad for the three-Test series, and said he was focussed on getting more runs against Jamaica.
“I just want to so the simple things right, continue working hard and keep believing in myself and go out there and get some big scores for Barbados.”
Jamaica have been strengthened by the return of West Indies fast bowler Jerome Taylor who missed the first round game.
BARBADOS PRIDE (from): Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Sulieman Benn, Carlos Brathwaite, Jonathan Carter, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Ashley Nurse, Omar Phillips, Kemar Roach, Dwayne Smith, Jomel Warrican
JAMAICA (from): Tamar Lambert (captain), Carlton Baugh Jr, Dave Bernard Jr, Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, John Campbell, Damion Jacobs, André McCarthy, Nikita Miller, Marquino Mindley, Jerome Taylor, Shacaya Thomas, Keno Wallace