Scorpions Coach Coley positive ahead of do-or-die contest with Pride

Observer staff reporter

Sunday, February 21, 2021

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HAVING kept their chances of making the Regional Super50 Cup semi-finals alive with a nail-biting win on last, Jamaica Scorpions Head Coach Andre Coley believes today's crucial encounter against Barbados Pride represents another opportunity for his team to show their true class.

Coley, while lauding his team for their gritty performance against Leeward Islands Hurricanes on Friday, knows that it would amount to nothing if they fail to repeat.

Despite the six-run win under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method in their rain-affected encounter at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua, Scorpions remain at the foot of the standing on four points, same as the now-eliminated Hurricanes and Barbados, who currently occupy the coveted semi-final spot.

Trinidad and Tobago Red Force (16 points), Guyana (12 points) and Windward Islands Volcanoes (eight points), have already qualified with games in hand.

“Everyone is in a positive frame of mind going into our next match as the last win kept us in the hunt for qualification, so we are looking forward to it as it is an opportunity for us to be at our best,” Coley told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

Though he is optimistic that all players are expected to come firing on all cylinders, Coley singled out a few players for commendation from the Hurricanes win, including Captain Rovman Powell.

Former Innswood High School standout Jeavor Royal, who was named Man of the Match for his telling performance with both bat and ball, was also on that list. Royal first scored a well-played 38 from 40 deliveries, including two fours and two sixes, as he partnered with Fabian Allen to rescue the Scorpions innings from 135 for nine in the 38th over. Allen top-scored with 44 from 42 balls with three fours and three sixes.

The two posted a decent 10-wicket stand of 85 runs which saw the Scorpions to 220 all out in 48 overs.

Powell, who made 29 and Paul Palmer Jr, 23, were the other two noteworthy scorers.

Royal later returned with his left-arm spin to remove opener Kieron Powell and in form batsman Kacey Carty, but Hurricanes Captain Devon Thomas (49 runs) and Nitish Kumar (51) threatened to take the game away from the Scorpions with a 64-run, fourth-wicket stand.

However, off-spinner Jamie Merchant, with three valuable wickets for 44 runs off nine overs, Vice-Captain Derval Green and Powell, who bowled brilliantly to stifle the Hurricanes' batting in the latter stages, rocked things back in favour of the Scorpions.

“The last-wicket partnership of 85 runs by Fabian and Jeavor took us to a score that was good enough for us to defend in the end, and then Jamie got an early breakthrough and helped us to control the scoring along with Fabian, Jeavor and McCarthy,” Coley noted.

“Credit also goes to Derval and Rovman who showed good skills [with their] bowling at the death to defend 48 runs off the last six overs. But overall, the high level of intensity in the field during that period also contributed to the win,” he ended.

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