It was disappointing!

Scorpions coach Haynes laments lack of fight, character in loss to Red Force

Senior staff reporter

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

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IN his first game after being appointed interim head coach two weeks ago, Robert Haynes placed focus on the positives despite Jamaica Scorpions crumbling to a five-wicket loss to visitors Windward Islands Volcanoes.

However, it appears his patience is running thin after an even more tepid display in the 157-run defeat to Trinidad & Tobago Red Force on Sunday — a second-straight loss at Sabina Park in the West Indies four-day cricket tournament.

The bowlers did well enough to dismiss the Red Force for 203 and 233, but the Scorpions' first-innings reply of 112, and the 167 they made in their victory chase of 325 runs featured abysmal batting.

“These guys have to understand that this is their profession and if they are to stay in any team they need to start performing,” he told the Jamaica Observer during an interview after the Red Force loss.

“It is very disappointing in terms of how we play the cricket. Any team can lose a game, but you have to show fight, you have to show character — those we didn't see,” he said.

The Scorpions have suffered defeats in their three matches this season. Haynes has been in charge for two matches, while his predecessor Robert Samuels presided over the opening-game loss away to Barbados Pride.

Woeful batting, characterised by losing wickets in clusters, has been the major sore point in all those games — but particularly at Sabina Park where the condition of the pitches were good and the bowling was not extraordinarily threatening.

Guyanese-born left-hander Assad Fudadin, who has played two matches, has been the only batsman to show the practical knowledge and expertise to build an innings. He has scored 81, 48 and 35 not out in three of his four innings.

The rest of the batting department has been bereft of confidence, and batsmen have lacked both the thought process to pick the right shots and the technique to execute them.

The team is without two of its better batsmen in John Campbell and Jermaine Blackwood, both named in a West Indies President's XI set-up to face the touring Englishmen. But those two have been inconsistent when they featured this season. Another noticeable absentee has been the injured Brandon King.

In any case, the side still boasts batsmen Chadwick Walton, Andre McCarthy and Paul Palmer — all with decent reputations in regional cricket. Wicketkeeper Aldaine Thomas has batting credentials, having scored a mature century for a Jamaica Select XI versus touring England Lions in a three-day warm-up match last February.

“The batting just lets us down continuously, and this is a major concern because no batsman so far has a hundred. We have just a few batsmen who have half centuries but there is no consistency.

“You have to be consistent and from what I'm seeing right now the thinking of these players has to change. They have to find the know-how to go out there and occupy the crease to make runs,” Haynes urged.

“I'm here to help them, I'm here to try to guide them, [but] at the end of the day they need to take the responsibility and go out there and score runs. If you look at how the Trinidad guys bat, how the Windwards guys bat — these are youngsters coming out of Under-19 cricket and they apply themselves.

“We are making 20 and 30 in 15 balls or 20 balls and that's it. That's not good enough at this level because after this it's Test cricket, and if you have the ambition to go further you need to stand up and bat,” the Scorpions cricket coach said.

Denesh Ramdin, the Red Force captain, explained to the Observer that his team played on the Scorpions' lack of concentration.

“It was more [poor] shot selection and we tried to put the ball in the right areas for long periods of time, created a lot of pressure for those guys and we got the results that we wanted,” Ramdin said.

The Red Force were powered by slow left-arm orthodox bowler Khary Pierre, who captured five wickets in the match and hit crucial knocks of 35 and 46 to claim the player of the match award. Fast bowler Anderson Phillip ripped the Scorpions apart with a sensational first-innings hattrick.

The 36-year-old left-arm finger spinner Nikita Miller was the Scorpions' best bowler with 12 wickets in the match.

Haynes noted Scorpions' short first-innings effort — lasting 38 overs and three balls — which meant the bowlers were back out on the field after a brief respite on the second day.

“It's heartbreaking to know your bowlers have to be bowling twice in one day. That doesn't augur well for any team, and at the end of the day the batsmen are not getting the scores that they need to get.

“There is no way I could say to my bowlers that you haven't bowled well. When you're bowling to any team and you bowl them out for [approximately] 200 and the run rate is [low], that's excellent stuff.

“You have a player like Nikita Miller, who is the oldest player and is always giving 120 percent. These things are examples for the younger players to follow and I do hope that they will do this very quickly,” Haynes concluded.

Haynes and his team were scheduled to depart the island yesterday for Grenada where they are slated to meet the Volcanoes in the return fixture, starting Thursday.

The Scorpions, on 14.4 points, remain at the foot of the six-franchise league, while the Red Force, after their first win, are fifth on 28.

Four-time reigning champions Guyana Jaguars are perfect from four starts and lead with 80.2 points, ahead of Leeward Islands Hurricanes (43.6), the Volcanoes (42.8) and the Pride (29.8).

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