Interest will remain high in the Regional 4-Day Tournament, when the final round of matches open on Friday.
The top three teams entering the final round of matches – Trinidad & Tobago, Windward Islands and Barbados – have all secured a place in the last four.
But the last slot in the semi-finals has come down to a straight shoot-out, when Combined Campuses & Colleges host Jamaica at the Three Ws Oval on the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies in Barbados.
Two points separate the two sides, but they would enter the contest in different frames of mind, as CCC gained a timely boost of confidence with their victory over Windwards, while the Jamaicans slumped to a heavy defeat against T&T in the previous round of matches.
But CCC should temper their enthusiasm and Jamaica should not hold their heads so low, when the two teams consider their history in this tournament.
The Jamaicans remain the only regional side that the CCC have never beaten in the Regional 4-Day Tournament and they have never even conceded a first innings lead in any of the eight matches that they have played previously – and they have won every time they have played at the Three Ws Oval.
To show that they mean business, the visitors have drafted the West Indies pair of batting stylist Marlon Samuels and left-arm fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell into their squad, following their exploits at the ICC World Twenty20 Tournament that ended last Sunday in Bangladesh.
In the other two matches: The spotlight will fall on T&T and Barbados – two of the three teams that have already qualified for the semi-finals.
T&T will be eyeing as many points as possible to secure their first Regional 4-Day title in seven years, when face Guyana on foreign soil at the Guyana National Stadium in Providence, Guyana.
The Red Force, who are a shoo-in to host one of the semi-finals, have got the better of the Guyanese in eight of their last nine matches in the R4D which includes three wins.
They have boosted their chances with returning West Indies World T20 batsman Lendl Simmons, while the Guyanese have been shaken with illness sidelining key spinner Veerasammy Permaul, with leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo to replace him.
With the Windwards idle this week, Barbados will be looking to put daylight between them and hold onto second place, when they play Leeward Islands on the road at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in North Sound, Antigua.
The Barbadians too, will be looking to collect as many points as they can to keep their outside chances of clinching the WICB President’s Trophy alive – and more importantly, they will want to secure the right to host the other semi-final.
Barbados have won their previous three matches against Leewards in the R4D – a sequence that started with a six-wicket win three years ago at the VRCG.