RUNS, PLEASE!

Scorpions brace for Hurricanes as four-day season winds down

BY SANJAY MYERS
Senior staff reporter

Thursday, January 11, 2018

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Jamaica Scorpions are looking to wind down the regional four-day season on a positive note, says Captain Nikita Miller.

The Scorpions take on visitors Leeward Islands Hurricanes in the ninth round of the tournament starting 10:00 am today at Sabina Park.

The Scorpions are fifth in the six-franchise league with 75.8 points from eight matches, while the Hurricanes are third with 79.4. The three-time reigning champions Guyana Jaguars, assured of a fourth-straight title, are on 135 points, ahead of second-placed Barbados Pride (85.8), fourth-placed Trinidad and Tobago Red Force (76.8) and cellar team Windward Islands Volcanoes (61.4).

The Hurricanes, who have shown decent form at times throughout the season, clipped the Red Force by one wicket last week at Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain. The arguably more inconsistent Scorpions went down by two wickets to the irrepressible Jaguars in a corresponding fixture at Sabina Park.

“We definitely need to end on a high. This game against the Hurricanes is a must-win for us. They leapfrogged us when they won their game and we lost. It's not a lot of points, and I'm sure they want to win as well to maintain that lead. And they have been playing some good cricket,” Miller told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

The Scorpions skipper blasted his batsmen for their subpar show in the last match — particularly in the first innings.

“In order to win this game we have to bat — it's impossible to score 106 in your first innings and expect to win games. We have to put the runs on the board in the first innings and just bowl our hearts out. Doing those will go a far way in winning the game,” he added on a day when neither team was able to practise due to persistent rain much of yesterday.

Miller, the Scorpions' ace left-arm finger spinner, did not appear to be overly bothered by the missed session.

“It's a day lost in doing something and to sharpen up, but what can we do about it? We're not crying over it,” he remarked.

The Hurricanes Head Coach Winston Benjamin confirmed that his players have similar ambitions to those of the Scorpions'.

“The Jaguars are way ahead and the rest will jostle for second [place] or for as high as possible in the table. We are looking to get as many points as best as we can. We are looking to win and we'll go in and try to stick to game plan. With the game of cricket being what it is, you cannot predict how things might go,” the former West Indies fast bowler told the Observer via telephone interview yesterday.

Benjamin lamented his players' lack of focus over the course of the season so far, but hopes he can see positive signs in the next two games.

“My players just need to focus more, to concentrate and be patient. I'm not seeing that consistency from the senior players in my team and that is one of the things I'm looking forward to for next season,” he said.

Squads: Scorpions — Nikita Miller (captain), John Campbell, Assad Fudadin, Jermaine Blackwood, Brandon King, Paul Palmer, Andre McCarthy, Fabian Allen, Chadwick Walton, Derval Green, Damion Jacobs, Marquino Mindley, Christopher Lamont.

Hurricanes — Kieran Powell, Devon Thomas, Montcin Hodge, Jahmar Hamilton, Akeem Saunders, Sheeno Berridge, Jeremiah Loius, Rashidi Boucher, Chaim Holder, Jason Campbell, Keacy Carty, Shane Burton, Mervin Mathew.

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