JAMAICA Franchise’s captain Tamar Lambert says lack of confidence has been haunting the team’s batsmen throughout the 2014-15 West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) four-day tournament.
Jamaica, the most successful team in the first-class game over the last decade, claiming six title-winning four-day trophies, have suffered three straight losses in the inaugural Professional Cricket League (PCL).
The shambolic top-order batting has bore the blunt of the blame with the team failing to reach a score of 250 runs in seven rounds of matches.
The most recent defeat was by 178 runs against Trinidad & Tobago Red Force inside three days at Sabina Park in Kingston. There Jamaica failed to get to the 200-mark in either innings on an evenpaced pitch which allowed batsmen to score freely.
The debacle was compounded by the manner of their second-innings collapse on Sunday with the last six wickets falling for six runs from 20 legal deliveries.
“It’s a lack of confidence because a lot of us as batsmen in the dressing room are really struggling,” Lambert said after defeat.
“We didn’t bat properly in the two innings in the game. I don’t think we bowled properly, and at the end of the day we must give credit to Trinidad & Tobago because they outperformed us.”
His opposite number Rayad Emrit said his players ticked the right boxes. He also praised left-hander Kjorn Ottley, who batted well but was eventually dismissed for 99.
“Well done to the batters in both innings because they really stood up. We got the scores that we wanted, but it was tough on Ottley not getting a hundred.
“In the first innings, the bowlers did the job for us getting Jamaica out for 167. We knew the second innings was not going to be a walkover and they came out guns blazing. But that’s cricket and we knew once we got rid of either Blackwood or Campbell it would be game on,” Emrit told reporters.
Lambert, also struggling for runs, noted that Jamaica’s young batsmen Brandon King, Jermaine Blackwood and John Campbell played knocks which showed there may be hope around the corner.
“It’s nice that Brandon King, in his first game, scored a half-century and John was positive in the second innings. Jermaine Blackwood got a half- century also, but the rest of us didn’t bat properly,” he said.
The 20-year-old King, the former West Indies Under-19 cricketer playing his first four-day game for Jamaica, made a breathtaking 71 in the first innings.
Left-handed opener Campbell, 21, another former West Indies youth batsman made a blistering 83 in the second innings, while senior regional team batsman Blackwood, 23, supported him with a brisk 52.
Jamaica remain fourth in the standings with 60 points and are virtually out of contention with only three rounds remaining, while fifth-placed Trinidad & Tobago, after winning only their second game of the PCL campaign, have 47 points.
Guyana Jaguars (107 points) lead second-placed Barbados Pride (82) after winning the clash between the two yesterday. Windward Islands Volcanoes occupy third spot with 80 points, while cellar team Leeward Islands Hurricanes have 17.
“It’s going to be a difficult task to really come back. We still have three games and hopefully we can win those three games and get maximum points,” said the Jamaica skipper.
Jamaica’s next match is away to Guyana, starting on March 6.