Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Powell boosts Scorpions for Red Force clash

Published:Thursday | December 8, 2016 | 12:00 AMJermaine Lannaman

In a bid to address the poor batting fortunes of the Jamaica Scorpions, the national selectors have made two changes heading into the team's fourth-round clash with Trinidad and Tobago Red Force at Sabina Park, starting today.

In comes recent West Indies one-day international recruit, all-rounder Rovman Powell, and former captain and batsman Paul Palmer Jr, while out goes opener Trevon Griffith and wicketkeeper Chadwick Walton.

The 23-year-old Powell and Palmer Jr are yet to see any action this season, with Powell recently returning from Zimbabwe with the West Indies team, having toured Sri Lanka with West Indies 'A' a month earlier.

Palmer Jr, in the meantime, who was entrusted with the leadership position last season, but who was overlooked at the start of this year's campaign, has been named in various Scorpions 13-member squads since the start of the tournament three rounds ago but is yet to make his seasonal debut.

The Robert Samuels-led Scorpions will enter the contest one place above the Red Force in the six-team championship.

Jamaica are fourth on 28.6 points, 1.6 points ahead of Trinidad, who are fifth. The table, which sees a mere 6.6 points separating the top five teams, is being led by two-time defending champions Guyana Jaguars on 33.6 points.

They are followed by early-season pace setters Barbados Pride on 33.4 points and surprise package thus far, the Leewards Hurricanes, on 29.4.

CRUCIAL GAME

"Based on the position of the teams in the standings, it will be a very crucial game,'' said Jamaica batsman AndrÈ McCarthy.

"Trinidad is always a tough team and has rivalry with us, so it is always our intention to beat them. This match is no different, and it is for us as a team to get our game together, including our batting, which has been struggling a bit."

The Scorpions, who are hoping to better their third-place finish last season, has so far registered a win, a loss, and a no-result, the same as the Red Force.

They are, however, slightly ahead of their opponents based on points awarded to fast bowlers as per a new West Indies Cricket Board regulation.

Jamaica will look to in-form opener John Campbell, who is third in the batting charts, Jermaine Blackwood and Andre McCarthy to lead their batting, which, with the absence of Walton, could see young Brandon King, who has been part of the squad, making his seasonal debut.

As for their bowling, it is again likely that it will be spearheaded by captain and spinner Nikita Miller, along with fast bowler Raynard Leveridge and Powell.

Trinidad, in the meanwhile, will welcome the return of new West Indies batsman Jason Mohammed, who also played in Zimbabwe, with the diminutive right-hander set to lead their batting, while bowling-wise, much will be expected of Jamaica-born fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell, who was drafted in the off-season.

SCORPIONS (from): Nikita Miller (captain), Fabian Allen, Jermaine Blackwood, John Campbell, Derval Green, Damion Jacobs, Brandon King, Reynard Leveridge, Andre McCarthy, Paul Palmer Jr, Rovman Powell, Devon Thomas, ShacayaThomas.

RED FORCE (from): YannickOttley (captain), YannicCariah, Sheldon Cottrell, JydGoolie, Kyle Hope, Jon-Russ Jagessar, Steven Katwaroo, Imran Khan, Jason Mohammed, Khary Pierre, Roshon Primus, Isaiah Rajah, Marlon Richards.