LAST season’s beaten finalists St Elizabeth CA are set to visit Derrymore Road to face the formidable Melbourne CC outfit in the tantalising semi-final clash in the two-day Senior Cup competition, starting at 10 o’clock this morning.
The St Elizabeth team topped Zone A in the preliminary phase and went on to take first innings honours in the quarter-final match against St Catherine CC at the Alpart Sports Complex last weekend.
Injury-plagued West Indies fast bowler Jerome Taylor starred with 4-25, while Kenroy Williams and Kerry Holness each struck half-centuries in that match for St Elizabeth.
Taylor, who is captain of the team, told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that he expects a tough contest, but added that the ‘St Bess’ players are buoyed for the Melbourne challenge.
“Melbourne are strong, but we are in with a chance of going through to the final, and we have the players who can do it. It is a young team, but it’s a committed bunch and we are all looking forward to doing well,” said the 28-yearold pacer, who has not played for the regional team since 2010.
The former St Elizabeth Technical prodigy said he is in good condition and is looking forward to leading the bowling attack against Melbourne’s much-vaunted batting line-up.
“I’m feeling good and strong at the moment. I know my role is very important and I am willing to give 100 per cent to help St Elizabeth get into the final. I know the team is depending on my skills to help to get them past Melbourne,” Taylor said.
Melbourne, winners of Zone D, whipped St Mary by an innings and 42 runs at the Melbourne Oval last week to book their semi-final spot.
A solid batting display throughout the line-up and excellent performances from leg-spinner Damion Jacobs, left-arm orthodox bowler Christopher Lamont, and off-spinner Shamar Anderson set up that victory.
Boosted by the return of West Indies ‘A’ batsman Donovan Pagon, Melbourne boast a strong batting line-up and team manager Larry Crichton is exuding confidence ahead of the clash.
“We are confident, but we won’t be underestimating this team, because they are a good outfit and they got past a determined and organised St Catherine team in the quarter-final. We certainly won’t be taking them lightly, but we are confident in what we can do,” he said.
Three-time defending champions Manchester CA and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) are scheduled to clash at Up Park Camp from July 14-15 in the other semi-final. That match was originally set for this weekend, but had to be postponed by the JCA Cricket Operations because members of the JDF have other engagements.