Scorpions ready to sting in Super50 semis
The Jamaica Scorpions will attempt to move one step closer to landing their first regional one-day title in six years when they take on defending champions Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in semi-final action at the Coolidge Cricket Ground, formerly The Sticky Wicket Oval, in Antigua today.
Set for a 12:30 p.m. start Jamaica time, the match-up will pit against each other two teams that have been experiencing good form in the tournament.
Captained for the second time in one-dayers by Nikita Miller, Jamaica have so far registered six wins and two defeats. This has allowed them to finish second in Group B to co-hosts Barbados Pride.
Meanwhile, Trinidad and Tobago, who topped Group A ahead of co-hosts Leeward Islands Hurricanes, have a record of seven victories and one loss.
The Pride and the Hurricanes are set to do battle in semi-final two tomorrow at the same venue, starting at the same time.
"The team entered the tournament with a purpose and mission, and we are two matches away,'' stated Miller. "We are focused and determined going into the semi-finals, and at the end of the day, once we stick to our plan, I am confident we can come out on top.''
The Scorpions, coached for the first time at the tournament by Robert Samuels, started poorly by losing their first encounter against minnows Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners.
However, thanks to solid performances from the tournament's third-highest wicket-taker, Damion Jacobs, and fast bowlers Jerome Taylor and Reynard Leveridge, as well as several of their batsmen, the Scorpions have been able to find form.
These batsmen include AndrÈ McCarthy, Chadwick Walton, Devon Thomas, John Campbell, Jermaine Blackwood and American Steven Taylor, whose timely half-centuries have resulted in them posting challenging totals.
HIGH ON CONFIDENCE
The performances have also ensured that heading into the semi-finals, the team is high on confidence, given their record of winning six of their last seven matches, including their last five.
"In the games that we have batted well, there are persons who have scored 40s and 50s,'' assessed Miller.
"What I would like in the semis is for these people, who get batting starts to go on and score centuries or big half-centuries, and if that can be achieved, we can't be beat,'' he added.
Trinidad, meanwhile, will enter the showdown knowing that they only lost one game, their second against invited team Kent Spitfires of England.
Since then, they have gone on to chalk up six successive wins, including completing the double over Leewards.
Coached by Gus Logie, the Red Force will look to Ravi Rampaul, Shannon Gabriel and Jamaica-born Sheldon Cottrell to lead their bowling, with recent West Indies call-ups Jason Mohammed and Evin Lewis, along with wicketkeeper and captain, Denesh Ramdin, leading their batting.