Jamaica Scorpions Assistant Coach Andrew Richardson says players are in high spirits as they look to take on Guyana Harpy Eagles in the fourth-round regional four-day match at the Diego Martin Sport Complex in Trinidad and Tobago, starting today.
The Scorpions got their first win of the campaign last week when they beat struggling Windward Islands Volcanoes by an innings and 14 runs in the third-round encounter at Brian Lara Cricket Academy.
The Harpy Eagles are also coming off a victory, a five-wicket triumph over title holders Barbados Pride at Queen’s Park Oval.
“The mood has been very positive in the camp and we want to keep it bubbling and keep it positive, and hopefully, we execute our plans,” Richardson told the Jamaica Observer on the eve of the match.
In the win over the Volcanoes, the Scorpions made 346 in their first innings after a polished unbeaten knock of 119 by Brandon King and an enterprising 58 from lower-order batter Jamie Merchant. Captain John Campbell and his opener partner Leroy Lugg supported with 48 and 36, respectively.
The Volcanoes were twice dismissed for scores below 200 runs: 137 in the first innings and 195 in the second. The Scorpions pacers Marquino Mindley and Nicholson Gordon grabbed 5-20 and 4-43, respectively, in the first innings, while swing bowler Derval Green and off-spinner Merchant both claimed five wickets in the second.
“It’s good to see our bowlers coming to the party — Mindley with a five-wicket haul, and it’s good to see Derval and Merchant and also Gordon who were in and amongst those wickets. In fact, Merchant had an outstanding game against the Volcanoes,” Richardson said.
The Scorpions will be without the seasoned batting pair of King and Nkrumah Bonner due to West Indies duty for the upcoming One-Day International tour of the Netherlands.
Their departure opens the door for all-rounder Alwyn Williams and former Jamaica Under-19 captain Brad Barnes.
“We would love to see more consistency from our top-order batters and some more support from the middle as well. King got a good score for us — a hundred in the last game. We’ve lost him and Bonner, but we do expect guys to come in who are certainly capable of doing a good job,” the assistant coach noted.
The Scorpions are fifth in the six-team league table with 29.6 points, while the Harpy Eagles (41.4) are fourth.
The Pride lead with 47.2 points, ahead of Leeward Islands Hurricanes (46.4), third-placed Trinidad and Tobago Red Force (43). The Volcanoes are at the back of the pack with 15.6 points.
In the round’s other matches, which are also set to start on Wednesday, the Red Force take on the Pride at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy and the Volcanoes battle traditional rivals, the Hurricanes at Queen’s Park Oval.
Squads: Scorpions — John Campbell (captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Leroy Lugg, Alwyn Williams, Kirk McKenzie, Paul Palmer, Brad Barnes, Aldaine Thomas, Derval Ģreen, Jamie Merchant, Patrick Harty, Nicholson Gordon, Marquino Mindley, Oraine Williams, Gordon Bryan.
Harpy Eagles — Leon Johnson (captain), Keemo Paul, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Tevin Imlach, Vishaul Singh, Akshaya Persaud, Veerasammy Permaul, Anthony Bramble, Gudakesh Motie, Nial Smith, Demetri Cameron, Antony Adams, Kevin Sinclair, Ronsford Beaton.
— Sanjay Myers