Green backs Scorpions to eradicate first-innings blues


Green backs Scorpions to eradicate first-innings blues

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

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PACE bowler Derval Green is convinced that Jamaica Scorpions will eradicate the first-innings woes which left them in desperate positions before recovering in the opening two rounds of the regional four-day cricket tournament.

Green, named man of the match for his impactful all-round effort against Windward Islands Volcanoes in the Round Two contest at Sabina Park, rued that his team was forced to follow-on for the second game running.

Both games were drawn after strong batting performances by the Scorpions in their second innings.

“It [the slow start] is not only frustrating for me, it's also frustrating for my teammates who've put in a lot of work behind the scenes. It just hasn't come in the first innings as yet,” the 31-year-old told reporters during a post-match interview.

Last week, against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, they were hanging on at 300-8 in their second innings after responding with a mere 278 to the home team's massive first-innings score of 460-4 declared.

In the second-round match, which ended on Sunday, the Scorpions' first-innings reply of 220 to the Volcanoes' 387 handed the visiting team the initiative.

It took another sterling, backs-to-the-wall performance for the Scorpions to amass 404-8 declared as skipper John Campbell, who made 101, and Nkrumah Bonner, who compiled an unbeaten 100, struck their fourth and second centuries, respectively. Jermaine Blackwood supported with 76.

It gave the Scorpions a second-innings lead of 237 runs and a chance of a come-from-behind victory on the last day. However, the Volcanoes held off the Jamaican bowlers, battling to 155-5 when play was called off in late afternoon.

“I'm 100 per cent confident and I believe in their [batters] ability and know that they will come good, hopefully, starting with our next game against Barbados,” Green added in reference to Thursday's start of the third-round clash with Barbados Pride at Sabina Park.

The crafty bowler, who has also shown his credentials with the bat so far this season, was instrumental against the Volcanoes.

He hit a top score of 62, and Palmer made 54 to ensure the Scorpions got past 200 in the first innings. Green also captured six wickets in the match, including 3-30 in the second innings as the Scorpions harboured hopes of a win.

Against the Red Force, Green made 56 in the first innings, while grabbing 2-97 in trying conditions at Brian Lara Cricket Stadium.

“We have been putting in a lot of work, not only in regular practice, but we have been doing things behind the scenes. It's quite rewarding to see we've been getting scores on a consistent basis.

“Hopefully, we can continue on this path because this is just the start of the season, so that's four innings. We have another 16 innings or so to go. There's a far way ahead of us so there's still a lot of work to be done, and hopefully, these guys and myself, we can continue on this path or even improve as we go along,” he said.

The Red Force lead the six-team league table with 29.6 points, just ahead of the Volcanoes (29.4), Barbados Pride (25.6) and defending five-time champions Guyana Jaguars (24.8). The Scorpions are fifth on 14.8 points, while Leeward Islands Hurricanes are last on 4.2.

— Sanjay Myers

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