Scorpions look to leapfrog Pride
THE JAMAICA Scorpions will be look to leapfrog leaders Barbados Pride atop the standings in the Digicel WICB Regional Four-day Championship when the two meet at Sabina Park, starting today.
The Nikita Miller-led Scorpions, fresh off a narrow win over the Windward Islands Volcanoes last weekend, are fifth in the six-team championship but are just 3.4 points behind Barbados Pride. WESTERN BUREAU: CLARENDON COLLEGE have a score to settle against Cornwall College and they will have no bigger chance to do so than when they battle each other for a spot in the final of the 2016 ISSA-FLOW daCosta Cup this afternoon at the St Elizabeth Technical (STETHS) Sports Ground at 2:30 p.m.
The last time these two teams met, the Chapleton-based Clarendon College were on the losing end of a six-goal thriller, going down 4-2 to Cornwall College at the semifinal stage of the FLOW Super Cup earlier in the month.
And just like their first clash, this one is expected to be another humdinger between two of the daCosta Cup’s most prolific teams this year.
The Dr Dean Weatherly-coached Cornwall College, although having to deal with two consecutive losses in recent weeks, should feel comfortable on the STETHS grounds against their rivals.
This will be a play-to-the-very-end matchup, with both teams giving it one hundred per cent to land a date in the final.
“We are always ready to play good football. We have had some issues in recent days but those are behind us. We have proven that we are a mature bunch of players,” stated Weatherly.
“The win in the Super Cup was a good yardstick, but that’s done and over with. This will be a different ball game, but we are up for the challenge,” the Cornwall coach emphasised.
And a challenge it will be indeed. Their best player going forward, Peter-Lee Vassell, has been carrying a leg injury. How ready he will be for this crucial match is unknown, while the rigours of a long season are beginning to show on their leading goal scorer, Jourdaine Fletcher. Barbados lead with 24.4 points, with the Leeward Islands Hurricanes second on 24.2. Defending champions the Guyana Jaguars are third on 24 points with the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force fourth on 22. The Scorpions are next with 21 points, while rounding off the standings are the Windwards, who, having notched up two losses, are on 20.6 points. Starting this season, 0.2 of a point is awarded to teams for each wicket taken by a fast bowler. “Barbados will come here the more confident team, but I am always confident in my bowling team, regardless of the surface and the opponents. The batting, that is my concern,” Miller said ahead of the match. “If we can correct that (weak batting) and give the bowling unit a Cornwall’s Jourdaine Fletcher.
Fletcher, in particular, looked off colour in the Ben Francis Cup semi-final loss to Lennon High.
The Clarendon College aggregation could counter with their highly rated team captain Creggton Charlton, leading the charge, along with the talented Shemar Hunter. The pair was on target against Cornwall in the Super Cup.
Clarendon College goalkeeper Benjamin Williams could, however, be in for a busy day should Fletcher, who has benefited from a full week’s rest, find his best form today.
Both schools boast significant pedigree in chance to rest and think about how to attack our opponents, we will do well,” he added.
Jamaica, who are yet to pass 250 runs to date, will enter the contest hoping for an improved batting display. The local selectors have looked to bolster that area by including former West Indies Under-19 all-rounder Fabian Allen in the squad.
The 21-year-old has come in to replace 19-year-old fast bowler Oshane Thomas.
With Thomas out, the squad is then left with only one specialist fast bowler in Reynard Leveridge. The West Indies A team player is set to lead the attack and should share the new ball with all-rounder Derval Green.
Allen, who also bowls spin is expected to provide back-up for Miller and leg-spinner Damion Jacobs, as well as add to the middle-order batting.
Barbados, meanwhile, have named an unchanged squad from their impressive 292 runs victory over Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in Port-ofSpain last weekend.
They will be led by West Indies Test players all-rounder Roston Chase, left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican, fast bowler Kemar Roach, and batsman, Sharmarh Brooks.
Jamaica Scorpions (from): Nikita Miller (captain), Fabian WICB Media photo Top Barbados Pride batsman Shamarh Brooks.
Allen, Jermaine Blackwood, John Campbell, Derval Green, Trevon Griffith, Damion Jacobs, Brandon King, Reynard Leveridge, André McCarthy, Devon Thomas, Shacaya Thomas, Chadwick Walton
Barbados Pride (from):
Kevin Stoute (captain), Anthony Alleyne, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Nikolai Charles, Justin Greaves, Aaron Jones, Kevin McClean, Omar Phillips, Mario Rampersaud, Kemar Roach, Jomel Warrican, Kenroy Williams
Nikita Miller will again be the key man in the Scorpions attack.