Jamaica will look to start their defence of the One-day title of the Regional Under-19 Championship strongly, when they face Barbados in the opening round of matches today at Bourda Oval.
The Jamaicans coughed up the three-day title to hosts Guyana with inconsistent play, finishing fourth in the table behind the unconvincing Barbadians, and will be looking to put a far sterner defence of the limited-overs title.
They will fancy their chances against their old rivals following a convincing six-wicket victory over them in the three-day competition.
Jamaica appear to have a balanced squad with their bowling revolving around their captain and off-spinner Ramaal Lewis and the deceptively quick Odean Smith and the batting carrying depth with West Indies Under-19 opener Leroy Lugg, fellow opener Odaine McCatty and wicketkeeper/batsman Romaine Morris out front.
Barbados will again depend heavily on their bowlers to keep opponents in check with left-arm spinner Chad Williams, the top bowler in the three-day competition, having to play a key role in setting the tone.
The batting will have to be the key for the Barbadians though, and they will require greater consistency than they showed in the three-day matches, although their victory in the final match against Leeward Islands when the batting finally clicked would boost confidence.
In the other matches, hosts Guyana will start their bid to do the double against Leewards at Enmore, and Trinidadand Tobago will seek to leave their wretched three-day form behind them and crush the composite ICC Americas side at the Demerara Cricket Club.