Bennett wants better pitches for trial matches

Jamaica Observer article.

Kingston, Jamaica - Jamaica senior team cricket coach Junior Bennett is calling for a better playing surface at Sabina Park ahead of the 50-overs trial matches to be played in early January.

On yesterday's second and final day of the drawn game, the coach looked on as batsmen again found it difficult to score runs on an uneven pitch that also provided plenty of spin for the slow bowlers.

When the game was called off at 3:00 pm, Nkrumah Bonner's XI, batting a second time, were battling on 59-6 after 37 overs. Bonner's XI had made 120 in their first innings.

Earlier in the day, Paul Palmer's XI were bowled out for 143 after resuming from their overnight 56-4.

Short leg fielder Zeniffe Fowler (left) takes evasive action as wicketkeeper Horace Miller (right) looks on and opener Jon-Ross Campbell plays a pull shot in yesterday's second day of the two-day national practice match between Nkrumah Bonner's XI and Paul Palmer's XI. The game ended in a draw. (PHOTO: BRYAN CUMMINGS)

Scores: Bonner's XI 120 (54.4 overs) and 59-6 (28 overs); Palmer's XI 143 (54.5 overs)

Bennett, though critical of some of the dismissals, conceded the Sabina square was below the expected standard.

"The batting was really inconsistent today. But the pitch was not the best for this level of cricket. We need some better playing surfaces for players to go out there and really go out and express themselves. That's one area we have to get fixed before the start of the trial matches for the One-day competition," he told the Jamaica Observer after the match.

When Palmer's XI resumed yesterday, they were wrecked by former West Indies youth wrist-spinner Donovan Nelson. The 21-year-old took the remaining six wickets in the innings to end with 6-29 off nine overs and five balls.

Pacers Jason Dawes and Andrew Richardson finished with 2-24 and 2-37, respectively.

Powerful opener Kenar Lewis (22) and West Indies Under-19 middle-order batsman Brandon King, with 17 not out, were the chief scorers in Bonner's XI 59-6.

Wrist-spinner Damion Jacobs took 2-13 off seven overs to go with his four wickets in the first innings.

The Jamaica squad is preparing for the upcoming Super50 and Four-day regional competition.

The 50-overs tournament, to be staged in Trinidad & Tobago, commences in late January.

The Four-day tournament is set to start in February.

The Jamaican squad resumes training this morning at Sabina Park before breaking for the New Year and returning on January 2. The squad's opening 50-overs trial match is scheduled for Sabina a day later.

The final 14 for the Super50 is expected to be selected by January 10.

First Published In The Jamaica Observer.

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 05:24