Scorpions aiming at final spot in WICB Nagico Super50
After surrendering at the semi-final stages of the WICB NAGICO Super50 for the past two seasons, Jamaica Scorpions coach Junior Bennett is hoping to go better this time.
The team, with new captain John Campbell, is considered one of the tournament favourites alongside co-hosts Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, Barbados Pride and Guyana Jaguars.
"The aim is to definitely go beyond the semi-finals this year," stated Bennett, prior to the team's departure on Monday.
"Last year we played fairly well in early stages, but the luck just did not go our way."
Jamaica, who last tasted regional one-day success in 2011 - under the captaincy of Chris Gayle - defeated Leeward Islands Hurricanes by nine wickets, before losing to Trinidad by 17 runs in their second fixture of the 2014 season.
They then rallied to beat West Indies Under-19s by nine wickets in their third fixture to qualify. They were, however, beaten by Guyana Jaguars by six wickets in the semi-finals.
Captained then by spinner Nikita Miller, Jamaica made 188 for nine off their allotment of 50 overs, to which Guyana replied with 189 for four.
A season earlier, Jamaica were blown away for a record low 49 at the same stage by hosts Trinidad and Tobago, who replied with 51 for three.
"It's a pretty decent squad, full of talent and confidence and I am expecting a lot," noted Bennett.
"The preparation was good, with four trial matches and a practice match and, in addition, the team has gelled well."
The Scorpions, after their first three group games, are slated to welcome West Indies fast bowler Jerome Taylor and batsman Jermaine Taylor, who are currently in Australia with the West Indies team.
They are down to replace emerging pacer Nicholson Gordon and Shacaya Thomas, who are not part of the original 14-man squad, but has been added as cover.
Jamaica will start against the Trinidadians tomorrow at the Queen's Park Oval, before going up against ICC Americas on Saturday at the Sir Frank Worrell Memorial Ground.
They are then slated to face Barbados next Monday, also at Queen's Park, in their third group fixture.
The teams will then replay each other, before the top two from the group advance to the semi-finals.
Guyana, co-hosts Leeward Islands Hurricanes, Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners and Windward Island Volcanoes will contest Group B.
Jamaica Scorpions squad: John Campbell (captain), Trevon Griffith, Jermaine Harrison, Andre McCarthy, Jermaine Blackwood, Tamar Lambert, Brandon King, Devon Thomas, Nikita Miller, Damion Jacobs, Aldaine Thomas, Marquino Mindley, Sheldon Cotterell, Jerome Taylor. Reserves: Shacaya Thomas, Nicholson Gordon.