Scorpions hunt winning start
The Jamaica Scorpions will begin a new regional four-day era with a new coach and new captain when they kick off their West Indies Championship campaign today against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy (BLCA) in Tarouba.
The Andre Coley-coached and John Campbell-led team will have a tricky first round away tie to a T&T side that is oozing with confidence following the appointment of West Indies batsman Darren Bravo as captain.
For Coley, the former Windward Islands coach, a good start can be the catalyst for a successful campaign.
“It is important that we start well and then, in turn, be consistent after that. I implore the players to do the basics well and once we do that, the performances will speak for themselves,” Coley told The Gleaner.
For captain Campbell, his task is even greater, as he will have to marshall his troops and be one of the main run scorers in the inexperienced Jamaican side that has struggled to put runs on the board in past seasons.
“I am looking forward to getting out there and doing the job. We know what we can do as a team and my job is to help the team to remain focused, because as a team, we are naturally aggressive and sometimes you have to play to situations. One thing for sure is that we want to win, and that’s what we aim to do,” Campbell shared.
From a team standpoint, the Scorpions will miss the bats of Chadwick Walton and Brandon King, with both players accounting for over 1,000 runs in seven matches last season. They will, however, be banking on the experienced campaigner Jermiane Blackwood, who chalked up 465 runs in eight innings in 2019.
Once fit again, Nkrumah Bonner is expected to play a major role with the bat, having scored 177 runs in just two matches last year. His replacement, Paul Palmer Jr, might be added to the line-up for this first game, despite not making the initial squad.
Guyanese left-hander Assad Fudadin will also be called upon to play the sheet anchor role once more, with the aggressive Rovman Powell and wicketkeeper Aldane Thomas in the supporting cast.
Pacer Nicholson Gordon will also be relishing another bowl on the BLCA strip. In his last outing against T&T, the Kensington pacer bagged 7 for 70 in 22 overs. Left-arm spinner Dennis Bulli and seamer Marquino Mindley are also expected to factor with the ball.
Meanwhile, The T&T Red Force will be banking on the Test experience of Bravo and Kyle Hope to lead their batting charge.
Left handed opener Jeremy Solozano and Isaiah Raja are also expected to add weight, while on the bowling side, veteran leg-spinner Imran Khan and off-spinner Brian Charles are expected to play key roles for the Melvyn Dillon-coached Red Force.