Scorpions look to bounce back
Still smarting from their first-round 10-wicket defeat to Barbados Pride, Jamaica Scorpions will attempt to get their campaign back on track when they play the Windward Islands Volcanoes at Sabina Park, starting today.
The showdown, one of three in the second round, will see the Scorpions hoping for a much better batting display than they had at Kensington Oval, where they failed to pass 200 on their two turns with the bat.
Chasing a first-innings total of 373, made by the Pride, Jamaica were bowled out for 189 in their first innings and asked to follow-on, 187.
This left Barbados with four runs to get, which they achieved for the loss of no wickets.
"It was a poor batting display on our part in the first match, but I believe the players have what it takes to turn things around," said Junior Bennett, coach of the Scorpions.
The Jamaicans, rooted at the bottom of the six-team standings on one point, will be hard-pressed to omit West Indies wicketkeeper-batsman Chadwick Walton, who was left out against Barbados.
The stylish stroke-maker, who has played for the West Indies as a batsman, and who was the team's most successful batsman towards the back end of last season, was left out based on what Bennett described as a decision by the selectors.
tricky selection ahead
"The selectors met, however, in the end, he was not selected," was all Bennett was prepared to say on the matter.
Should Walton get the nod, however, who he replaces could be tricky given that only a mere two batsmen, John Campbell and Kirk Edwards, batted with any fervour against the Pride.
Opener Campbell made a second first-innings high score of 49, and a top score of 35 in the second, while Edwards, batting at number three, scored an innings-high 58 in the first and 18 in the second.
The other batsmen, including debutant captain Paul Palmer Jr, all struggled.
The 23-year-old Palmer made a first-ball zero and six off 77 balls number four batsman AndrÈ McCarthy, 30 and two; Carlton Baugh Jr, 29 and 27; and young Brandon King, 10 and 30.
No changes are expected in terms of the team's bowling, amid an average opening display.
Pummelled at 262 for two on day one, the bowling recovered to claim Barbados' last eight wickets for a modest 111 runs on day two.
The experienced Nikita Miller led the way with four for 100, while fast bowler Jason Dawes supported with three for 51.
The other front-line bowlers, fast bowler Marquino Mindley, leg-spinner Damion Jacobs, and all-rounder David Bernard Jr, ended with one for 66, none for 69, and one for 49, respectively.
The Windwards, in the meantime, who are in fourth position on three points, having lost to defending champions Guyana Jaguars by 104 runs in their opener, will also be looking to bounce back.
Off-spinner Shane Shillingford, who claimed six for 107 and five for 36 against Guyana, is set to lead their bowling, along with left-arm seamer Mervin Matthew.
Seasoned campaigner Devon Smith, opener Tyrone Theophile, Keddy Lesporis, and young captain Sunil Ambris are set to lead their batting.
Jamaica Scorpions (from): Paul Palmer Jr (captain), Carlton Baugh Jr, Dave Bernard Jr, John Campbell, Jason Dawes, Kirk Edwards, Damion Jacobs, Brandon King, AndrÈ McCarthy, Nikita Miller, Marquino Mindley, Nicholson Gordon, Chadwick Walton.
Windwards Volcanoes (from): Liam Sebastien (captain), Sunil Ambris, Alston Bobb, Miles Bascombe, Keddy Lesporis, Mervyn Matthew, Kyle Mayers, Kevin McClean, Kenroy Peters, Dalton Polius, Shane Shillingford, Devon Smith, Tyrone Theophile.