Volcanoes Coach Richardson regrets enforcing follow-on in Scorpions draw


Volcanoes Coach Richardson regrets enforcing follow-on in Scorpions draw

Senior staff reporter

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

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WHILE praising the standard of the pitch that facilitated a high-quality contest, Windward Islands Volcanoes Head Coach Andrew Richardson conceded that they might have erred in opting to enforce the follow-on against Jamaica Scorpions.

The second-round regional four-day cricket match at Sabina Park ended in a draw on Sunday with the Volcanoes 155-5 in search of 238 runs for victory.

The visitors dominated most of the encounter after rattling up 387 when they lost the toss and were instructed to take first strike on a pitch covered with live grass.

The Scorpions' underwhelming first-innings reply of 220 — on a surface that remained good for batting over the course of the match — left them 167 runs adrift.

And though the Volcanoes had to toil in blazing sunshine for almost 70 overs to claim those 10 wickets, they ran the risk of fatigue when they chose to let the Scorpions have a second-straight crack.

Captain John Campbell, the left-hand opener, notched 101; Nkrumah Bonner finished unbeaten on 100; Jermaine Blackwood made 76; and the in-form left-hander Paul Palmer contributed 42 in their 404-8 declared.

“I thought the wicket [pitch] was excellent; the game came down to the last hour, the last delivery. Kudos to the ground staff; I can tell you from the days I played that the wickets here have been much better for the last two, three seasons,” Richardson, the Jamaican-born former fast bowler, said during a post-match interview.

“I wouldn't say it [enforcing the follow-on] is a regret, but looking back we probably should have given our bowlers a little time to rest. But we were still in a position from which we could have won the game,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

Richardson, the former Jamaica assistant coach, added: “It was a good game of cricket; both teams played well. We were leading for the first two days, and they came back very strongly. Obviously, we would have loved to have had a victory, but we take a draw and look to the next round.”

Jamaica Scorpions' player Derval Green, named man of the match for his all-round performance which gave them an outside chance of a win, noted that it was a fiercely-fought encounter on a surface that offered balance.

“It had something in it right throughout the four days for both batsmen and bowlers. Definitely, it was a really good cricket wicket; it's just about how well you apply yourself as a batter, and how patient you are as a bowler,” he explained.

Green hit a top-score of 62, and Palmer made 54 to ensure the Scorpions got past 200 in the first innings. The skilful pace bowler followed up his first-innings haul of 3-73 with 3-30 in the second.

For the Scorpions, it was the second consecutive match faced with a follow-on situation after holding hosts Trinidad and Tobago Red Force to a draw last week.

Green was encouraged by the collective effort against Windward Islands Volcanoes.

“We had plans of trying to come out with a victory from the game, knowing that we were behind. It would have been a hard task for us, but we gave it what we had. Unfortunately, it didn't go our way, but it was a well-fought game by our team; it was a brilliant game from both teams,” Green told reporters.

The Scorpions are fifth in the six-team league standing with 14.8 points, while the Volcanoes are second with 29.4.

Trinidad and Tobago Red Force are out front with 29.6 points, while Barbados Pride (25.6) are in third position, followed by defending five-time champions Guyana Jaguars (24.8). Leeward Islands Hurricanes are back of the pack with 4.2 points.

The Scorpions next match is against Barbados Pride, scheduled to start Thursday at Sabina Park.

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