Scorpions Head Coach Coley bemoans 'disappointing showing'Saturday, February 27, 2021
BY SANJAY MYERS
JAMAICA Scorpions Head Coach Andre Coley says it was a “disappointing showing” at the Super50 Cup in Antigua even though coronavirus-forced restrictions limited team preparation.
The Rovman Powell-captained Scorpions recovered from three-consecutive preliminary stage losses to progress to the semi-finals before they were brushed aside by favourites Trinidad and Tobago Red Force on Wednesday.
“It was a disappointing showing by us as a squad,” Coley told the Jamaica Observer.
He noted that they failed to combine the complete package with bat, ball and in the field during any of the games.
“There were a number of individual standout performances in all three areas throughout the tournament. However, we did not play what we would have considered a full game,” the head coach said.
Because of health protocols to limit exposure to the novel coronavirus, there has been no cricket competition in Jamaica since last March hence players lacked match sharpness heading into the regional 50-over tournament.
Even training was different since adhering to guidelines forced the Scorpions to practise in small batches instead of preparing as a full unit.
Other territories had no such obstacles to their preparation.
“The challenges of our preparation were known before we left. We knew we needed to gel quickly to get early wins and create momentum as a squad, and our first match against T&T (Red Force) was a promising start,” Coley explained.
“Bowlers created opportunities throughout the tournament. [Spin bowlers Jamie] Merchant and [Jeavor] Royal held their nerve and were effective in PP1 (the first power play) which is a tough stage of the match to bowl.
“Brandon King had a couple of good innings, and [Fabian] Allen showed he is still an effective all-round player. Odean Smith bowled with pace and made significant contributions with the bat in the lower order and [Andre] McCarthy and Powell made all-round contributions,” he added.
The Scorpions kicked off their campaign with a respectable 258-6 against the Red Force. But they were unable to bowl or field well enough to stop the formidable Red Force from cantering to a five-wicket victory.
Losses to Guyana Jaguars and Windward Islands Volcanoes followed as the Scorpions failed to reach 200 runs on both occasions.
The Jamaica franchise turned things around with dramatic, do-or-die wins against Leeward Islands Hurricanes and Barbados Pride which propelled them into the last four.
However, the batting remained a concern with the top-order displaying frailties in the two encounters.
The front line batsmen flipped the script in the semi-final and the Scorpions appeared set to reach close to 300 or beyond. After losing the toss and asked to take first strike they were 113-1 just past the halfway stage and 203-4 in the 42nd over, but a clutter of late wickets and failure to accelerate saw them restricted to 255-7.
Opener John Campbell returned from West Indies Test duty to make 88, while King added 58.
“After being well positioned to push for 300 close to the 40th when we batted, we slipped away in PP3 (the third power play) and, again, the slow start would not have helped in PP1.
“Batters who were in and set needed to carry on to help us keep pressure on their bowlers. The positives were that we put ourselves in a position to launch at around the 40-over mark when we batted and at least one top order batter went deep into the innings,” Coley told the Observer.
The Red Force got off to frenetic, six-runs-per-over start in their reply. And despite the Scorpions battling back to have their opponents 139-3 in the 25th over they were unable to sustain enough pressure to deny the Trinidadian outfit a six-wicket triumph.
“Their opening partnership benefitted from two missed opportunities in PP1, which they used to their advantage in creating momentum and it shifted pressure on our bowlers,” the Scorpions coach said.
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