Desperate Scorpions go in search of first win

Senior staff reporter

Thursday, January 17, 2019

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JAMAICA Scorpions will be desperate to get a win under their belts when they oppose Windward Islands Volcanoes in the West Indies four-day cricket match at National Cricket Stadium in St George's, Grenada.

The fifth-round contest is scheduled to begin today at 9:00 am (Jamaica time).

The Scorpions, last in the six-franchise league table with 14.4 points, have lost their opening three games of the four-day championship, including to the third-placed Volcanoes (42.8 points) at Sabina Park earlier this month.

In that encounter, the Scorpions had a handy 97-run first-innings lead before slumping to a five-wicket defeat to the Volcanoes, who are coached by Jamaican Andre Coley.

Robert Haynes, the Scorpions interim head coach, hopes his team can turn things around in this weekend's return fixture.

“Our mission is to get points, and further, to win that match. They beat us in Jamaica, we saw their team [and] we know what they have,” he said before the team's departure on Monday.

Haynes, who officially took over the role at the start of January, had lambasted his team after back-to-back tepid performances at home against the Volcanoes and Trinidad and Tobago Red Force.

The Scorpions' other loss — a humiliating 41-run capitulation away to Barbados Pride in December — came under the guidance of Haynes' predecessor, Robert Samuels.

Haynes identified the batting and fielding as two areas of main concern.

Guyanese-born left-hander Assad Fudadin has been the lone consistent batsman for the Scorpions so far this season, scoring 81, 48 and 35 not out in three of his four innings.

“Our players have to assess the situation and apply themselves. The team needs to occupy the crease for much longer, frustrate their bowlers and make runs. It can be done.

“The bowling has been exceptional, but the letdown is in the field; the catching has been bad,” the Scorpions coach said, while noting the need for better concentration in the batting and fielding departments.

The Scorpions made three changes to their 13-man squad from the last game.

Batsman Brandon King and skilful medium pacer Derval Green return from injury, while experienced fast bowler Jerome Taylor is back into the four-day set-up since last playing a first-class match in April 2017.

The players left behind are all-rounder Rovman Powell, veteran spin bowler Nikita Miller and young fast bowler Oshane Thomas. Powell is out due to injury, while Miller and Thomas are rested with an eye on workload management.

Miller, who has captured 24 wickets in three matches, could be a big miss, but Captain Paul Palmer is optimistic that the Scorpions' bowling remains a menacing unit.

“We've lost the experienced Miller, but Taylor comes with a wealth of that too. King will certainly strengthen our batting and we have Derval Green back from injury. It's just for us to apply ourselves and execute a winning plan,” Palmer explained.

Four-time defending champions Guyana Jaguars lead the table with 80.2 points, ahead of second-placed Leeward Islands Hurricanes (43.6). Barbados Pride (29.8) are fourth, while the Red Force (28) are fifth.

Squad: Paul Palmer (captain), Oraine Williams, Chadwick Walton, Assad Fudadin, Brandon King, Kenroy Williams, Aldaine Thomas, Derval Green, Jerome Taylor, Reynard Leveridge, Dennis Bulli, Jermaine Levy, Andre McCarthy.

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