Thursday 22 August, 2019

Jamaica Scorpions aiming to end Windies Championship on a high

Jamaica Scorpions will be aiming to finish the 2018-2019 West Indies Championship strongly as they will be involved in one of the two final matches for the season, starting on Thursday.

The Scorpions, which are rooted at the bottom of the six-team table on 88.6 points, will face Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, a team just behind them on 90.6 points, at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy.

With the Guyana Jaguars having finished their schedule of matches for the season last round and accumulated 154.2 points – they have practically claimed the Headley/Weekes Trophy, symbol of West Indies first-class supremacy, for a fifth straight season.

The Jags are 23 points clear of Leeward Islands Hurricanes, their nearest rivals, which still have a mathematical chance of clinching the title, as they prepare to face a star-studded Barbados Pride at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.

Red Force vs Scorpions in Tarouba, Trinidad

Although already well out of the running, bragging rights will be on the line in this return contest between the two sides, as just two points separate them.

Both have played inconsistently this season, leaving them occupying the bottom two slots on the league table, so they will each look to play earnestly to avoid “the wooden spoon”.

For Red Force, a clean sweep of this season’s matches will be their motivation, and for Scorpions, proving there is life after champion left-arm spinner Nikita Miller announced his retirement from this format earlier in the week will be key, along with avoiding the sweep and the bottom slot which they currently occupy.

There also a couple of personal landmarks that could be accomplished in this contest:

  • Red Force left-handed opener Jeremy Solozano needs six runs for 500 runs this season, and
  • Veteran Red Force leg-spin all-rounder Imran Khan needs two wickets to complete the double of 40 wickets and 400 runs for the season.

SQUADS

RED FORCE (from) – Denesh Ramdin (captain), Yannic Cariah, Bryan Charles, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Kyle Hope, Imran Khan, Jason Mohammed, Khary Pierre, Jeremy Solozano, Odean Smith, Anderson Phillip, Marlon Richards, Lendl Simmons, Daniel St. Clair

IN–Gabriel, Kyle Hope, Simmons; OUT–Yannic Cariah, Marlon Richards, Tion Webster

SCORPIONS (from) – Paul Palmer (captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Dennis Bulli, John Campbell, Akim Fraser, Assad Fudadin, Garth Garvey, Nicholson Gordon, Derval Green, Brandon King, Kennar Lewis, Jermaine Levy

IN–Campbell, Levy; OUT–Nikita Miller, Jerome Taylor

UMPIRES – Zahid Bassarath, Gregory Brathwaite (Barbados)
MATCH REFEREE – Michael Ragoonath
RESERVE UMPIRE – Kashif Sandy

Hurricanes vs Pride in North Sound, Antigua

The Hurricanes, however, face the highly improbable, if not impossible task of gaining the absolute maximum 24 points against the Pride to be able to surpass the Jaguars to be able to take home their fifth West Indies first-class title for the first time since they shared with the Jags 21 years ago.

It would take miraculously spectacular batting and bowling from the Hurricanes to gain all the points left on the table and pip the Jaguars for the title by just – one point.

And, the Hurricanes should not be ruled out, as they have the batting and bowling to get the job done, plus they are playing their best in almost a decade, are on familiar turf and beat the Pride in their first match at the start of the season last December, so they would relish a season sweep.

There also a few personal landmarks that could be accomplished by players on both sides in this contest:

  • Hurricanes off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall needs six wickets for 200 in the Championship and 84 runs to complete the double of 500 runs and 50 wickets for the season,
  • Pride and WINDIES opener Kraigg Brathwaite requires 117 to become the 21st batsman overall and the sixth from Barbados to score more than 4,000 career runs in the Championship,
  • Pride’s Jonathan Carter needs 23 runs to join veteran Windward Islands Volcanoes left-handed opener Devon Smith in the 700-run club for the season and 80 to reach 4,000 first-class career runs,
  • Veteran Hurricanes pair of Devon Thomas and Montcin Hodge require 47 and 53 respectively, to also become members of the 700-run club for the season, and
  • Hurricanes batsman Keacy Carty has 515 runs and needs 85 to reach 600 runs for the season.

SQUADS:

HURRICANES (from) – Rahkeem Cornwall (captain), Sheno Berridge, Nelson Bolan, Keacy Carty, Jahmar Hamilton, Montcin Hodge, Damion Jacobs, Alzarri Joseph, Kian Pemberton, Jaison Peters, Akeem Saunders, Devon Thomas, Terance Warde

IN–Pemberton, Saunders; OUT–Kieran Powell, Quinton Boatswain

PRIDE (from) – Shamarh Brooks (captain), Kraigg Brathwaite, Jonathan Carter, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Keon Harding, Chaim Holder, Chemar Holder, Marquino Mindley, Shayne Moseley, Shamar Springer, Tevyn Walcott

IN–Chaim Holder; OUT–Jomel Warrican

UMPIRES – Nigel Duguid (Guyana), Verdayne Smith (Jamaica)
MATCH REFEREE – Vanroy Burnes
RESERVE UMPIRE – Bernard Joseph

CURRENT STANDINGS
(After the 10th round of matches)

1 Jaguars (154.2 points)
2 Hurricanes (131.2)
3 Pride (116.8)
4 Volcanoes (92)
5 Red Force (90.6)
6 Scorpions (88.6)

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