Scorpions Coach Coley laments batting display in loss to Pride

Sport

Scorpions Coach Coley laments batting display in loss to Pride

BY SANJAY MYERS
Senior staff reporter
myerss@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

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AFTER Jamaica Scorpions went down by 119 runs to Barbados Pride with a day to spare in the low-scoring regional four-day cricket match at Sabina Park, both teams agreed that the batsmen had failed to apply themselves on a testing pitch.

The Pride, who were asked to bat first after the Scorpions won the toss, made 219 and 206 on a surface which offered plenty of sideways movement and at times, awkward bounce, over the course of the three days.

The Scorpions responded with scores of 138 and 168.

The 21-year-old Barbados Pride fast bowler Chemar Holder, a vital member of the West Indies Under-19 team that won the World Cup four years ago, starred with 11 wickets in the match.

Both he and West Indies senior team pacer Kemar Roach, who took four wickets in the match, skillfully seamed the ball both ways, and appeared virtually unplayable on occasions.

The Scorpions' seam bowler Nicholson Gordon, who claimed eight wickets in the contest, was the main menace for the hosts.

“[It was] a disappointing batting performance,” Jamaica Head Coach Andre Coley lamented during a post-match interview on Saturday.

“It was just [lack of] focus from our batsmen — we just didn't take responsibility. Talking to [the opposing coaches] it was agreed it wasn't easy for any of the batters on either side to bat on this pitch.

“It just required a lot more patience and it asked a lot of questions of our batsmen, and we just weren't disciplined enough to leave more balls and so on,” Coley told journalists.

Shane Dowrich, the Barbados Pride and West Indies Test wicketkeeper/batsman, appeared the least troubled on the surface during his composed and attractive second-innings knock of 73. His teammate Kyle Mayers, a hard-hitting left-hand batsman, was typically aggressive while scoring 53 in both innings.

No one scored a half-century for the Scorpions, though middle-order batsman Nkrumah Bonner displayed exemplary technique to thwart the rampaging visiting team during his unbeaten 39 in the second innings. The hosts' wicketkeeper/batsman Denis Smith was nearly as good during his respective innings of 35 and 26.

Coley urged his batsmen to have faith in their technical skills instead of trying to exclusively blast their way out of trouble.

“We need to shore up our defence, and trust our ability to defend well, and leave deliveries. We lost quite a few [wickets], getting out at mid-off or cover, and some instances going across full deliveries,” he explained.

The Pride skipper Kraigg Brathwaite argued that the pitch offered a balanced contest between bat and ball.

“The first day it was a little slow, but as it [the surface] got harder the newer ball was quite tough, sliding off the pitch and some seaming and stuff. It's a pitch you have to spend time on as a batsman — the more time you spend the better, but I think it was a good cricket pitch for batters and bowlers,” he said.

Brathwaite, the West Indies Test opening batsman, could only manage scores of 25 and one, and on both occasions he was dismissed attempting injudicious strokes.

He expressed confidence his form will improve.

“It's part of the journey. I've just got to keep the mind nice and strong and keeping putting in the work, and I know big scores are ahead. I think, even for myself, the shot selection wasn't that good. We have to bat long periods, build partnerships, and we obviously didn't do that,” said the Pride captain.

After a break this week, the Scorpions are scheduled to next be in action when they travel to clash with reigning five-time champions Guyana Jaguars in Providence, starting February 6. In a coinciding fixture the Pride are set to battle hosts Leeward Islands Hurricanes in St Kitts.


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