Jamaica coach Junior Bennett was full of praise for Man-of-the-Match Tamar Lambert, saying the middle order batsman’s experience played a big part in their close 14-run victory over defending champions Windward Islands in their opening NAGICO Super50 Zone A match at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain on Thursday night.
The 32-year-old right-hander, Lambert, shared a 179-run stand for the fourth wicket with Andre McCarthy as they helped Jamaica recover from 32 for three to reach 282 for five off their 50 overs.
“The experience of Lambert in the middle definitely helped the team,” Bennett said after the game.
“He guided McCarthy along and both of them batted extremely well and it was really good to see a young player like McCarthy coming in and holding the innings together,” the coach added.
He noted that Jamaica got off to a poor start after slipping to 32 for three off ten overs but were able to pull it back in the middle thanks to Lambert and McCarthy.
Lambert himself recognised that he probably has two more seasons of regional cricket in him and said he wanted to do all he could to ensure the success of the Jamaican team, and leave with a bang.
“As a senior player I knew had to bat through the innings,” Lambert said, adding that his main thought during the innings was on rotating the strike and not giving away his wicket as they waited for the right time to accelerate.
Despite the win, Bennett said that there was room for improvement.
“There are some grey areas in our cricket that we definitely have to get right before the next game,” the coach added.
Meanwhile, Windward Islands skipper Liam Sebastien praised the efforts of Devon Smith, who scored 52, and Keddy Lesporis who hit an unbeaten 100 but insisted that they needed to do better in the field.
“It was an exciting game but just unfortunate to come out on the losing end. We did not bowl to well as a unit…We should have done better in the field and restrict the Jamaicans to a lower score,” he said.
The Windwards will be in action again on Tuesday against Guyana at the Oval from 2 p.m. while Jamaica face Ireland in their second Zone A match on Monday at the same venue from 2 p.m.