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Scorpions hunt second-straight win against Hurricanes

BY SANJAY MYERS
Senior staff reporter
myerss@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, January 31, 2019

JAMAICA Scorpions will look to make it two wins from as many matches when they oppose Leeward Islands Hurricanes in the sixth-round West Indies four-day cricket championship encounter at Warner Park in St Kitts.

The day/night encounter is slated to start today at 1:00 pm Jamaica time.

The Scorpions lost their opening three matches of the 2018-19 campaign before beating Windward Islands Volcanoes by four wickets in Grenada last time out.

Though no doubt a boost for the Scorpions, the win — which took them to 32.6 points — was not enough to lift them from the foot of the six-team table. The Hurricanes are in a far better position, nestled in second with 59.8 points.

In the victory over the Volcanoes, opener Chadwick Walton starred with knocks of 125 and 79, while middle-order batsman Brandon King struck a half century in both innings.

Left-arm unorthodox spinner Dennis Bulli claimed 10 wickets in the match.

Robert Haynes, the Scorpions interim head coach, is optimistic the pieces are starting to fall in place.

“We [have to] go out and play sensible, smart cricket and apply pressure throughout the game and try to win more sessions,” he explained.

“I think the guys are starting to understand that it is important to spend more time at the crease and once we can occupy the crease for long… that will definitely work in our favour,” Haynes added.

He noted there is still scope for improvement.

“What we need to do is to improve on our performance in the last game. We have a few areas we need to improve on. We only have a few batsmen who got over 50, so we are looking for the other batters to get among the runs,” said the Scorpions coach.

The Scorpions made two changes to the 13-member squad that faced the Volcanoes.

Pacer Jermaine Levy and batsman Andre McCarthy are left out. West Indies all-rounder Rovman Powell is in after recovering from injury and side-lined Test batsman Jermaine Blackwood is back from President's XI duty against touring England.

The Scorpions Captain Paul Palmer welcomes the pair's inclusion.

“They are good additions; they are West Indies players, so having them around is always a plus, an added boost to the squad,” said Palmer who said he is recovering from pneumonia picked up in Grenada.

Four-time defending champions Guyana Jaguars lead the league with 85.6 points, while Barbados Pride (49.6) are third, the Volcanoes (48.4) are fourth, and Trinidad and Tobago Red Force (33) are fifth.

Next week, the Scorpions are scheduled to meet the hosts Jaguars in the seventh round..

Squad: Paul Palmer (captain), Oraine Williams, Chadwick Walton, Assad Fudadin, Jermaine Blackwood, Kenroy Williams, Aldaine Thomas, Rovman Powell, Derval Green, Brandon King, Reynard Leveridge, Jerome Taylor, Dennis Bulli.