Posted in England Lions
We are just one win away from realising our ambition of finishing top of the WICB regional four-day competition.
We are currently top of the table, three points ahead of Combined Campuses & Colleges and Jamaica who are level in second. We have our final game against Jamaica at Sabina Park on Thursday.
It was our aim before we came out here to finish top of the table. We can’t actually win the competition as there are semi-finals and a final after we’ve left, so this is our final. We want to finish the tour on a high. We want to show everyone how strong this Lions team is.
Jamaica are a very strong side though. We thought they would be the strongest opposition we'd face. We will be trying to win the game, which has been our approach all tour.
We have been rotating the squad throughout the competition but this time we will pick the best XI. It will be a tough selection as everyone has done well. I'm confident leading whatever team we choose though.
We had an excellent win over Windward Islands last week, which took us to the top of the group.
After a frustrating game in Guyana the previous week where the rain denied us, there was a bit more pressure on us to get a win. No-one showed it though and we played really well.
We batted first but lost some early wickets. I knew that when I went in someone had to post a score, if we were to get a good first innings total. For that reason I was pleased to get a hundred to help us to 302.
I feel different batting as captain. I feel responsible for the team. The runs are for them.
It was my 10th ton since the start of last season. When I go out to bat I am looking to score hundreds so it's great that I keep churning them out. ]
We then bowled Windward Islands out for 237 before we declared our second innings on 290 for nine.
James Harris, who usually bats at number nine, top-scored with 73 after we sent him in as nightwatchman. We knew he could bat, that's why he was given that role. He batted beautifully. He used to open the batting in age-group cricket so it wasn't much of a surprise seeing him bat the way he did.
Danny Briggs got both openers out at the end of day three which was huge for us. It gave us real momentum going into the last day. I was confident we would win at that point, especially with Danny and Rash [Adil Rashid] bowling on a deteriorating wicket. There was some indifferent bounce out of the rough. We wrapped it up the following afternoon.
Danny has been really impressive. I'd seen him in limited-overs cricket last year but not really in first-class cricket. He can spin the ball and doesn't try to be too fancy. He knows his game pretty well even though he's just 19.
He has bowled well in tandem with Rash. Everyone knows what he can do.
Since that game we flew to Barbados early yesterday where we chilled out for the day. A few of the bags did not turn up though so we spent ages at the airport trying to work out which bags belonged to who. It turned out OK in the end. We then flew to Jamaica today.
One person who isn’t with us anymore is Jade Dernbach, who was called up to the World Cup squad. He deserves it. He's done really well out here and was the leading wicket-taker while he was with us. He has an excellent variety of deliveries, bowls a good slower ball and can reverse swing it. We wish him well.
His promotion is a good indicator for the rest of us. It shows that if you put in performances then you will get recognition. It has happened with Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett and now Jade.