Historic day-night clash at Sabina
The first-ever day-night first-class showdown at Sabina Park will be played starting today when second-place Jamaica Scorpions take on lowly-placed Leeward Islands Hurricanes in return-leg action of the Digicel WICB Four-day Tournament.
Scheduled for a 3 p.m. start and a 10 p.m. end each day, the matchup will represent the first time a traditional regional encounter will be held under floodlights at the venue, following similar staging of the Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 over the past four years.
A new feature as the West Indies Cricket Board seeks to improve the attractiveness of the sport and tournament, the match also represents the turn of Jamaica to host their one-off day-night contest.
This is based on a new rule which mandates each of the six participating teams to host a day-night duel.
''It's good to know that we will be playing our first first-class game under lights at home and the players are really looking forward it,'' expressed Jamaica captain, Nikita Miller.
"We don't know what to expect as yet as it will be new conditions, but whatever it is, we are planning to approach things carefully, assess as best as we can, and execute.''
The match ball will be pink instead of the customary white ball, as well as black sight-screens instead of white, and the encounter will see both teams looking to get their campaigns back on track following defeats last weekend.
The Scorpions, who had hosted title-holders Guyana Jaguars, went down by seven wickets, while the Hurricanes, playing away to Barbados Pride, were beaten by an innings and 26 runs at Kensington Oval.
Jamaica, who defeated the Hurricanes by an innings and 73 runs at Warner Park in first leg action, has made two changes to their mandatory 13-member squad.
Pace all-rounder Rovman Powell, who missed the Guyana match due to West Indies duties, and left-arm spin all-rounder Fabian Allen have been included, while out-of-form batsman John Campbell and pace all-rounder, Derval Green have been dropped.
Interestingly, Campbell is the Scorpions leading runs scorer, however, after a dismal regional Super50 campaign and an out-of-sorts-looking batting display against Guyana, the Junior Bennett-led selection panel acted.
The Leewards, in the meantime, who are being captained by Kieran Powell, have named an unchanged squad.
"The team vibes is still good despite us coming off a loss. It is just that we had a bad game," said Hurricanes captain Kieran Powell. "We will attempt to correct that by trying to better execute our duties, and I am confident that we can."
The game will also be the final home match for the Scorpions. Three rounds of matches remain after this tie.
Jamaica Scorpions (from): Nikita Miller (captain), Fabian Allen, Jermaine Blackwood, Derval Green, Damion Jacobs, Brandon King, Reynard Leveridge, AndrÈ McCarthy, Rovman Powell, Paul Palmer Jr, Jerome Taylor, Devon Thomas, Shacaya Thomas, Chadwick Walton
Leeward Hurricanes (from): Kieran Powell (captain), Rahkeem Cornwall (vice-captain), Nkrumah Bonner, Jason Campbell, Kaecy Carty, Jahmar Hamilton, Montcin Hodge, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Jeremiah Louis, Jermaine Otto, Gavin Tonge, Hayden Walsh Jr.