Scorpions skipper Campbell defends bowling in Red Force draw

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Scorpions skipper Campbell defends bowling in Red Force draw

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

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JAMAICA Scorpions Captain John Campbell has defended the effort of the bowlers after they were only able to claim four wickets against hosts Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the first-round, regional four-day cricket match which ended in a draw on Sunday.

Spurred by unbeaten knocks of 113 and 100 from Joshua Da Silva and Yannic Cariah, respectively, the Red Force, who won the toss and batted first, compiled an imposing 460-4 that kept the Scorpions on the back foot for the entire match at Brian Lara Cricket Academy.

Campbell, who said batting conditions were favourable to the Red Force over the course of the opening two days, praised his bowling unit for mostly sticking to the team's plans.

Keagan Simmons (89), Jeremy Solozano (73) and Darren Bravo (66) added half-centuries.

The Scorpions' medium pacer Derval Green grabbed 2-97.

“To be honest, I'm really happy with the way we bowled — the scorecard might not show it. In a next game we'll bowl a lot worse and we'll get 20 wickets,” Campbell, the left-handed West Indies Test opener, told the Jamaica Observer.

“The pitch was really good for batting [and] the batsmen really didn't take any chances. I think we stuck to our lines and lengths for 90 per cent of the game. We put them under pressure but they just didn't give us any chances,” the 26-year-old player reiterated.

Left-hand batsman Paul Palmer, who only made the squad after Nkrumah Bonner fell ill, saved the Scorpions, scoring a second-innings 116 not out as they batted out the final day to reach 300-8 as the dominant Red Force forced them to follow on. Jermaine Blackwood supported him with 78.

Earlier in the match, the former Scorpions captain made 50 in addition to crucial knocks from Rovman Powell (71) and Derval Green (56) in their first-innings score of 278.

Campbell, dismissed for 18 and 28 in the match, said the team's gritty resolve after a less-than-ideal beginning to the contest was a pleasing aspect.

“I'm really happy we came out with a draw; I think it took a great deal of character. After being set to follow on, the character the guys showed — batting on the third and fourth days on a wearing pitch – it was really good to see that we have that fight in us.

“It was really difficult [to bat] with not much bounce on the third and fourth days; the ball was keeping really low. I thought the batsmen applied themselves, and that paid dividends for us,” he said.

Campbell expressed delight with Palmer's batting heroics, and urged the former Scorpions skipper to carry that form throughout the rest of the season.

“In both innings he batted really well. After not being in the initial 13-man squad and then getting called just before we travelled, it was really good to see him perform like that. He was hungry and I just hope he can be consistent for us this season,” he told the Observer.

The Scorpions' next game is against Windward Islands Volcanoes at Sabina Park in Kingston, starting tomorrow at 10:00 am.

– Sanjay Myers


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