Tue | Dec 5, 2023

A battle royal looms

Tigers welcome Saints in Senior Cup Final

Published:Saturday | April 29, 2023 | 12:45 AMLennox Aldred/Gleaner Writer
Peat Salmon, captain of St Catherine CC.
Peat Salmon, captain of St Catherine CC.

Sabina Park, the mecca of cricket on the island, is expected to come alive this weekend as the two most consistent local cricket teams, St Catherine CC and Kingston CC battle it out in the final of the Jamaica Cricket Association two-day Senior Cup.

The venue for the fixture would normally read as a home game for the Kingston ‘Tigers’, however, the level of cricket St Catherine are now playing could neutralise that advantage, with both teams stacked with inform players entering the grand finale.

The visitors, St Catherine ‘Saints’, have the tournament’s leading run-scorer in their captain Peat Salmon who has racked up 582 runs in 11 innings, with three centuries and two half-centuries at an average of 72.75.

On the other hand, the Tigers could also boast that they have their very own run machine in Jevaughn Buchanan, who is right behind Salmon on the run charts with 538 in 15 innings with one century and four half-centuries.

If a battle royal looms with the bat, the Saints will also hope that they can get good production from Carlos Brown who has 478 runs this season with two centuries and three half-centuries along with Oraine Williams and Jeavor Royal who has had some good knocks this year, as well.

The Tigers will also be banking on wicket-keeper batsman Romaine Morris who has scored 492 runs in nine matches, including three centuries.

The championship could, however, be decided by the bowling, as both sides possess national representatives in the spin department.

St Catherine will rely heavily on the tournament’s leading wicket-taker so far in Salmon, who has claimed 32 scalps, with his spin partner Royal just one wicket behind with 31 wickets in seven matches.

31 WICKETS IN SIX GAMES

Kingston’s left-arm option Paul Harrison has also shown that he has the goods to be a match-winner, as his 31 wickets in six games is among the league’s best, with his captain Akim Fraser sitting close with 26 wickets.

Both teams should be missing heavy-weight cricketers who could have made a huge impact with Andre Russell, who played two games this season, unavailable for St Catherine while Kingston will have to do without their national players Kirk McKenzie and Brandon King who are currently playing in the Headley Weekes series and Andre Bailey who is in Antigua playing in the local T20 competition.

For St Catherine CC coach Odean Brown, the key to winning their first Senior Cup title in eight years is to remain consistent.

“We have to stay consistent and believe in our abilities. The same skillset that we used to reach this final, we have just got to go out and execute,” said Brown.

Kingston’s captain Fraser is also speaking along the same lines as Brown, as he believes his team will need to replicate the same good brand of cricket that they have been playing in order to lift the title.

“The strategy is to play disciplined cricket. We have been doing that for most of the season and we have been getting good results, so it’s just to stay along those lines and play disciplined throughout.