Scorpions seek ‘winning start’
A winning start. That is the objective that is being echoed by Jamaica Scorpions coach Junior Bennett, as the team heads into battle today with defending champions and co-hosts, Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the feature game of the opening round of the WICB NAGICO Super50 Tournament at Queen's Park Oval.
One of four matches on the day, the day/night Group A encounter, which can be seen on television network ESPN Caribbean, is slated to bowl off at 12:30 p.m. Jamaica time.
"We will be looking (for) a positive start, a winning start, as we don't want to play catch-up cricket," said Bennett.
"They are at home and we expect their fans to be heavily behind them. But we are not daunted.
"We have prepared well and our confidence level is good."
Beaten at the semi-final stage last year, the Scorpions will enter the encounter under the supervision of first-time captain, John Campbell.
The 22-year-old opener, a former West Indies Under-19 vice-captain, will be participating in his third Super50 and will be hoping to rise to the occasion, particularly as it relates to the batting unit.
The batting is fairly young with former captain and veteran, Tamar Lambert, the most experienced.
It also includes Antiguan-born Devon Thomas, the in-form AndrÈ McCarthy, Shacaya Thomas, Guyanese-born opener Trevon Griffith and the exciting Brandon King.
West Indies batsman Jermaine Blackwood is set to join the team after the first three of six group fixtures.
The Scorpions' bowling, in the meanwhile - in the absence of Jerome Taylor, who is also scheduled to join the team for the latter stages - will be led by left-arm fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell and ever-reliable left-arm spinner, Nikita Miller.
"It's a balanced unit, a little bit of inexperience, but a raw-talented one with a lot of potential," stated Bennett.
The Red Force, in the meanwhile, are bereft of their most established players like Jamaica, due to either West Indies or worldwide Twenty20 leagues.
Their most experienced players will be Guyanese-born batsman Narsingh Deonarine, fast bowling all-rounder Rayad Emrit, emerging batsman Jason Mohammed and leg-spinner Imran Khan.
The other matchup in Group A will see 2014 winners Barbados Pride against ICC Americas at the Sir Frank Worrell Cricket Ground.
Meanwhile, in Group B, which will be contested in St Kitts and Nevis, home of the Leeward Islands Hurricanes, the hosts will face Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners at Warner Park, while at St Paul's, last year's runners-up Guyana Jaguars will meet Windward Islands Volcanoes.
Jamaica Scorpions:- 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.
Trinidad Red Force:- Jason Mohammed, Yannick Ottley, Steven Katwaroo, Kyle Hope, Evin Lewis, Narsingh Deonarine, Kjorn Ottley, Kevon Cooper, Akeal Hosein Imran Khan, Philton Williams, Marlon Richards, Rayad Emrit, Jon Ros Jagessar.