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McCarthy looks to continue good form as Scorpions hunt first win against Hurricanes

Observer staff reporter

Friday, February 19, 2021

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Having lost all three Super50 Cup games contested so far, Jamaica Scorpions batsman Andre McCarthy is optimistic that today's game against Leeward Islands Hurricanes will signal a turn in fortune for the team.

Despite their five-wicket loss to Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, as well as the 109-run and 92-run losses to Guyana and Windward Islands Volcanoes, respectively, the Scorpions, who currently sit at the foot of the six-team standing without a point still have sights set on making the semi-finals.

But the Andre Coley-conditioned team, which has been found wanting with both bat and ball, will have to come good in all departments for today's assignment and again in the final preliminary game against Barbados on Sunday, if they are to achieve the feat.

Leewards are fourth on four points with one win from four games, while Barbados are fifth without a point from three games. Trinidad and Tobago (16 points), Guyana (12 points) and Windward Islands (eight points), occupy the top three spots.

With both games representing must-win scenarios, McCarthy, who has so far been at the helm of the Scorpions batting with scores of 40, 48 and 55, believes the batting unit, in particular, needs to recalibrate its approach and assess the situation accordingly to get the job done.

Apart from McCarthy, only Brandon King with 97 in the first contest, Captain Rovman Powell with 40 and 32 and Fabian Allen with 39, made meaningful contributions across the three games.

“Losing the first three games in the tournament means it is naturally hard for any team to come back, but I always say it is not how you start, it is how you finish and I think we can finish on a high.

“The dressing room conversation is more tactical now, we have to play like how the other teams are playing and just work out the equations better. We have two games to come, which are must win because once we win those two we qualify for the semi-finals, so that is what we need to do,” McCarthy told the Jamaica Observer via telephone yesterday.

“It is not that we aren't playing good cricket, it is just that we haven't got it together as yet individually and as a team. We keep losing a cluster of wickets in the middle overs and that's one of the areas that we need to focus on and fix heading into those games,” he added.

Though he is always a consistent performer in the Regional Super50 tournament, McCarthy, a middle-order batsman, who bowls off-spin, credits his time and the experience garnered in the West Indies one-day set-up in Bangladesh recently for his renewed focus.

The 32-year-old, who was making his ODI debut, played two of the three games in the series which West Indies lost 3-0, mustering scores of 12 and 3.

“First and foremost it is good to be back out in the field to just enjoy doing what I love. As you know we all got a long break. Yes, I did get selected to the West Indies team, but I never got the start that I wanted in Bangladesh, so it was just to come back and regain cricket form, play some games and analyse my performances,” McCarthy noted.

He continued: “Playing for the West Indies was a really big experience for me, it was an eye-opener for me and I will always encourage every young player to strive to get to that level because it is good when you go up there and learn.

“It brings a different level of confidence and that is what is helping me now. I normally score runs in Super50, but going up to the highest level and seeing what it is like to bat in the middle overs and rotate strikes and so on, was a good learning experience for me.”

That said, McCarthy welcomed his return to form in Super50 action, but rued the missed opportunity to convert his three scores into centuries, which he believes would have given the Jamaican franchise a better chance at winning.

“I think the form is very good and I just need to push on. For the last two games, I think I was unfortunate in the way I got out, but I will use those dismissals as motivation to build on what I have done so far, as the team is looking to go all out,” the right-hand batsman shared.

“I am one of those players in the middle that needs to bat longer, get the big one (century) and bring the team home. So it is something that I am really looking forward to, I just want to be consistent and finish strong with at least two centuries or a very big century. I have a lot to play for because West Indies has a home series coming up and I would love to be a part of that team,” McCarthy ended.

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