Wed | Nov 29, 2023

We have to play out of our skins to beat Guyana – Miller

Published:Wednesday | March 22, 2023 | 1:32 AMLennox Aldred/Gleaner Writer
West Indies middle-order batsman Jermaine Blackwood returns to the Jamaica Scorpions today.
West Indies middle-order batsman Jermaine Blackwood returns to the Jamaica Scorpions today.

THE JAMAICA Scorpions will have their work cut out starting today against the Guyana Harpy Eagles when round four of the West Indies Championship bowls off at the Guyana National Stadium.

The Scorpions are still routed to the bottom of the six-team standings with just 15.4 points from their three games, and they face the Championship leaders, the Harpy Eagles, who have two victories and 49 points to boot.

The teams have contrasting results entering the contest with the Scorpions coming off a loss against the Windward Islands Volcanoes while the Harpy Eagles brushed aside the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force.

Assistant coach Nikita Miller said a lot of introspection was done and the team is geared up mentally to face the leaders, despite the positions on the table.

“It is going to take a collective effort and dedication from the players and they are going to have to give a whole lot more than what they have given so far this season.”

The Jamaicans are the only team in the competition yet to record a single batting point, and with the return of captain Jermaine Blackwood from senior West Indies duties, that scenario is expected to change, according to Miller.

“We spoke about having that first-innings performance with the bat and the players have committed to improving in that area. Blackwood came in last night and he had a chat with the players and you can see the difference in terms of positive body language and demeanour.”

The other factor that the Scorpions have to contend with is the weather, with rain forecasted in Guyana over the coming days.

Due to rain, the players resorted to only fielding drills prior to the game but coach Miller alluded that he and coach Richardson are preparing the team for four full days of cricket.

“We have not been able to do a lot of cricketing work but we are still preparing for a full game. The forecast is for rain but if that happens, we will adjust as needed.”

In the meantime, the Harpy Eagles will also welcome back their West Indies players to the team with opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul and spinner Gudakesh Motie expected to take their place in the final XI, with Keemo Paul heading to the Indian Premier League and wicketkeeper Anthony Bramble still recovering from injury.

In another fixture, the Barbados Pride will also welcome back West Indies Test captain Kraigg Brathwaite along with pacer Akeem Jordan and spinner Jomel Warrican in their contest against the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force at the Queens Park Oval.

There is one other game on today, with the Leeward Islands Hurricanes taking on the Windward Islands Volcanoes at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy.