Cricket

JCA Super League Preview

BY SHERDON COWAN
Observer staff reporter
cowans@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, September 23, 2017

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Early leaders Southern Seals will be seeking to extend the gap in the standings when they battle Western Warriors at Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium, as round two of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) Super League gets under way today.

However, this week's highlight fixture will see Central Titans hosting a youthful Northern Panthers at Chedwin Park.

Meanwhile, Combined Universities & Colleges will host Eastern Tigers at Melbourne Oval instead of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona in the other contest.

All games in the two-day tournament are scheduled to begin at 10:00 am each day.

The Seals head the six-franchise standings on three points by virtue of first innings in their opening contest against the Titans, which ended in a draw at Treasure Beach Sports Park in St Elizabeth.

Despite missing seamer Jerome Taylor, who is away on West Indies duties, the Seals' strength in the bowling department is by no means lacking having restricted the Titans to a mere 147.

But they will be hoping for a more compact batting display from the likes of Fabian Allen, Zeniffe Fowler and West Indies middle-order batsman Jermaine Blackwood, among others, to surpass their previous totals of 151 and 124-4.

This will be crucial considering the fact that the Warriors, on one point, pack a very balanced bowling unit, with their pace department led by left-arm seamer Sheldon Cottrell and Reynard Leveridge.

It is also interesting to note that the Warriors are the only team to have scored in excess of 160 runs from the opening round when they posted 181-9 against Eastern Tigers, despite losing the highly rated Dennis Bulli to injury.

Jermaine Harrison, Rasheed Outar and Leighton Leslie will once again be expected to lead their batting charge from the top.

The feature contest between the Titans and the Panthers, who are on one point each, should spark some fireworks — weather permitting — as both teams are filled with quality players, but are yet to really prove their class.

Only Trevon Griffiths and Stephen Taylor managed to come to the party in their first -round fixture and a significantly improved performance should be on the cards for the Milton Thomas-coached team.

The Cleon Smith-conditioned Panthers showed a glimpse of their bowling prowess when restricting Combined Universities to 145, shortly after lunch on the second day after a wet outfield forced the abandonment of the first day's play.

But their batting seems suspect as they left from 25 for one to end at 55-6 in the drawn contest. With this still fresh on their minds and a better batting strip now to their liking, the Damani Sewell-captained team is expected to give off a tidier display.

Finally, the fairly star-studded Eastern Tigers with the likes of the in-form Garth Garvey, who posted the only half-century of the first round with a topscore of 72, Tareque White, Brandon King and leg-spinner Damion Jacobs, are likely to prove a handful for the Combined Universities team. Both teams are also on one point each.

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