Gayle's return boosts Jamaica
Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
Jamaica captain Tamar Lambert says the team is looking forward to the return of opener Chris Gayle ahead of their crucial Caribbean Twenty20 preliminary round fixture against the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) at the Beausejour Stadium in St Lucia today.
The clash, which is slated to get under way at 3 p.m. (Jamaica time), will see Jamaica seeking maximum points, which would secure them second place, and a spot in the tournament play-off tomorrow.
Trinidad and Tobago, who will play home team Windwards at 7 p.m. in the day's other encounter at the same venue, booked their spot in the final after registering their fifth straight win on Wednesday to cement their place at the top. The team which tops the preliminary round automatically qualifies for the final.
"The reaction from the camp has been positive knowing that Gayle is one of the best players in the world," said Lambert.
"Everybody is looking forward to his return and for him to add his experience to the team, which should improve our chances of winning."
Gayle, who was originally omitted from the team due to club commitments with Sydney Thunder in the Australia Big Bash League, was recalled following an injury sustained by middle-order batsman Andre McCarthy.
"McCarthy has been carrying an injury and during the last game, he aggravated the injury ... you could see him limping, and after the game the coaching staff felt it was best for him to go home," said Lambert.
Meanwhile, looking ahead to the match against the CCC today, Lambert said the team was focused on the task on hand.
"We know what we need to do to advance ... " he said.
"CCC are a fairly competent batch as we saw when they pushed Guyana to the limit. But our plan is to win the tournament, which means winning our next three matches on Friday, Saturday and Sunday."
Meanwhile, in yesterday's early match Guyana defeated Leeward Islands by 14 runs. Scores: Guyana 156 for three; Leeward Islands 142 for five.