Trinidad and Tobago have not beaten Jamaica in the West Indies Cricket Board Regional Four-Day competition since 2007, but Denesh Ramdin’s men are confident they can turn things around in 2013.
Aggressive opener Lendl Simmons says despite the loss of a number of leading frontline players, T&T are still very much capable of victory over defending champions Jamaica when the two teams meet in round six of the regional four-day championships, bowling off today.
“Jamaica is always a tough opposition,” Simmons said, “especially as it relates to playing them at their home,” said Simmons, who along with members of his team arrived in Jamaica on Wednesday.
“However, we are coming off two very good wins against Guyana and the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC), and are confident that we can come away with a positive result.”
T&T are without a number of top players in Dwayne Bravo, Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul, Kieron Pollard , Kevon Cooper and spinner Samuel Badree, all unavailable due to their commitments to the Indian Premier League (IPL). Darren Bravo will also miss the match.
But even without those players T&T still boast a strong squad, led by West Indies wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin and including Windies pacer Shannon Gabriel and opening batsman Adrian Barath.
The visitors will also be encouraged by their recent performances against CCC. Jason Mohammed returned from injury with a crucial 138 and Rayad Emrit showed his match-winning potential in taking six for 35 to dismiss CCC in their first innings and the pair will be eager to carry their form into this weekend’s encounter.
“We will first try to claim first innings… and, if the opportunity presents itself, (we will) then try and go for an outright win,” the West Indies opener added.
T&T are second in the points table on 36 points, the same as Jamaica, while the Windward Islands lead the standings with 48 points.
For Jamaica, batsman Brenton Parchment earned a recall to the squad, replacing 27-year-old attacking batsman Xavier Marshall.
That was only change to the 13-man squad that trounced the Leeward Islands in the previous round of matches.
Parchment, 30, is fresh from a stint plying his trade on the Australian club circuit.
Left-handed opener Simon Jackson retains his place, despite a poor run of form this season.
Jamaica is without star batsmen, IPL-bound Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels.
The Jamaicans are on the hunt for an unprecedented sixth-straight lien on the four-day title, and have won all three matches in their 2013 campaign so far. They also stand on the brink of securing a spot in the semi-finals.
T&T — Denesh Ramdin (capt), Lendl Simmons, Adrian Barath, Jason Mohammed, Imran Khan, Kjorn Ottley, Yannick Ottley, Yannic Cariah, Amit Jaggernauth, Rayad Emrit, Kavesh Kantasingh, Marlon Richards.
Jamaica — Tamar Lambert (capt), David Bernard, Nkrumah Bonner, Zeniffe Fowler, Danza Hyatt, Jermaine Blackwood, Carlton Baugh, Nikita Miller, Odean Brown, Andrew Richardson, Sheldon Cotterell, Brenton Parchment, Simon Jackson.
Regional Four- Day Fixtures (Round 6: March 30-April 2)
T&T vs Jamaica, Sabina Park
Leewards vs Barbados, Warner Park
CCC vs Guyana, Providence