February 28, 2001

Barbados not impressed by quality of pitches

The quality of pitches at Kensington Oval this season has not impressed Barbados manager Tony Howard.

"They have not been very good. It's been difficult to bat after the first day and play your shots," Howard told NATIONSPORT after the newly-crowned Busta Cup champions crashed to a heavy defeat by 224 runs in the Busta International Shield semifinal against Jamaica on Monday.

The manager conceded that Barbados did not play particularly well, but the pitch had more to do with it, he said.

"I don't think the type of track we had to play on was conducive to the best type of cricket," Howard added.

"It was the third successive game we played on this wicket and after the first day's preparation went out, the pitch started to play all kinds of tricks."

Jamaica, with the advantage of toss, batted for 11 hours to post the tournament's highest total of 496.

When Barbados had to contend with the pitch on the third and fourth days, they came up woefully short and managed all-out totals of 171 and 182.

"We struggled with our batting. It was not up to par. We had some flashes of brilliance and a couple of cameos, but those things don't really win a first-class season," team coach Hendy springer said.

"It says a lot about the competition when a Barbados team can play below par and come out on top."

Like Barbados, Jamaica fielded a team that included eight players with international experience and they gained a nod of approval from the Barbados coach.

"They are a very, very good unit. They have a good mixture of youth and the important thing is that they are performers," Springer said.

Jamaica captain Jimmy Adams lauded the effort of his team which completed the most convincing win of the season.

"We had good batting and bowling performances right throughout the team. That has been the whole bottom-line to our approach for the whole season," Adams said.

The Jamaica skipper also had a good word to say about heavy-scoring openers Leon Garrick and Chris Gayle, both of whom are just shy of 800 runs for the season.

"They have been very consistent, which I think is very important."

Apart from Garrick and Gayle, Jamaica have produced a host of young batsmen in recent seasons, including Wavell Hinds, Marlon Samuels and Ricardo Powell.

"One of the things we have going is that we are spending a lot of time on them (young players) when they are at under-19 level," Adams said.

"We are trying our best to see if we can employ a bit of continuity through into the senior team."