Big clashes as St Mary Big Bash bowls off

Sunday, January 20, 2019

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The highly anticipated St Mary Cricket Association Big Bash T20 Competition, in honour of Maurice Clarke, bowls off at Boscobel Oval today with two exciting clashes, setting up a potentially mouth-wateringly entertaining day of cricket for lovers of the sport in the parish.

The competition, which has Sandals Resorts as title sponsors and Costly Construction, Parkway Pharmacy, Braham Service Station and Wisynco as associate sponsors, will see Port Maria up against Days Mountain in the opening match at 9:30 am, while preseason favourites Boscobel do battle with Mango Valley in the feature at 1:30 pm.

Twelve teams are taking part in the event, with each having a realistic chance of lifting the crown. Zone A comprises Days Mountain, Port Maria, Highgate, Geddes Town; Zone B — Boscobel, Mango Valley, Jack's River, Oxford. Zone C — Three Hills, Gayle, Top Pen and Bonnie Gate. The top 2 teams will advance from each zone along with the two best third-place finishers.

The competition will also feature two new innovations: the player of the round cash award at the end of each week, as well as matches being uploaded electronically at the end of each round, as well as scores being available for viewing on the Jamaica Cricket Association website.

Today's clashes offer a repeat of the final matches in the recent Boscobel Premier League in the parish, as both Day's Mountain and Mango Valley will be gunning for revenge against their rivals. The opening encounter will feature some of the top players in the competition, with the Days Mountain squad including the likes of the Bryce brothers — Andre and Damion, skipper Samuel McIntosh, and the hard-hitting Kedar Brown, while Port Maria will be banking on former West Indies Under-19 skipper Andre Creary, Richard Creary, Devoy Smith and Ronville Brown.

Player-manager Richard Creary was oozing confidence last week during the media launch at Beaches Ocho Rios, stating that his team will be gunning for the title, while his Days Mountain counterpart McIntosh said his team had a good chance of going all the way.

The feature match should be worth travelling miles to see, with favourites Boscobel parading a squad featuring the likes of national player Alwyne Williams, Maurice Harrow, Robert Ware and Domain Wilson, against a Mango Valley team comprising pacer Marlon Thompson, Andrew Sicard, Durant White and Desmond Riley.

Tournament director and first vice-president of the St Mary Cricket Association Junior Mattison, who is also responsible for senior cricketing operations in the parish, noted that after the opening matches this week, the competition will revert to being played at three grounds, and he was confident of a successful and well-staged event.

“It is good to see top-class cricket returning to the parish and the players are all eager to get into action. This also serves as a warm up for the cricketers for the upcoming SDC competition as well as players looking forward to representing the parish in the Senior Cup and limited overs competition,” Mattison observed. He also lauded the addition of the Player-of-the-Round award, which will spur the players on to greater heights, particularly the batsmen.

Karla Cohen, second vice- president of the St Mary Cricket Association who will serve as chief statistician, was over the moon with the local body's introduction of electronic scoring in the competition, which falls in line with the JCA mandating electronic scoring in its competition this year.

“We won't go live at the start, and will input the matches in the database at the end of each round, but we will be staging clinics for scorers in the parish and expect to have electronic scorers at all matches by the quarter-final stages,” the former national female representative noted.

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