The Jamaica Scorpions have brought in Windies batsmen Brandon King and Rovman Powell for today’s start of their third-round Cricket West Indies Professional Cricket League Regional 4-Day Championship match against the Barbados Pride at Sabina Park.
King and Powell replace Assad Fudadin and wicketkeeper Aldane Thomas in the Andre Coley- coached 13-man squad.
The decision means that Grenadian wicketkeeper Denis Smith will make his debut for the Scorpions in a strong batting line-up that should feature captain John Campbell, King, Jermaine Blackwood, Paul Palmer Jr, Powell, and Nkrumah Bonner.
The Scorpions, who are currently fifth after two draws, have shown character with the bat in both second innings to date, however, coach Coley is hoping that his charges can get things right from the start against a resolute Barbados attack.
“We have had good top-order batting, which has shown character,” Coley said. “But we need to be competitive every day and take control of games from day one and two and carry through to the end. Having Rovman and Brandon back will give the team more confidence as both players are positive.”
The team has had to stave off defeats with Herculean efforts with the bat in both second innings against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force and the Windward Islands Volcanoes, with Palmer Jr, Bonner, and captain Campbell all hitting centuries.
Despite the Scorpions not having a win under their belt, Coley says he will not be changing the approach despite pundits calling for changes.
“We have played fantastic second-innings cricket, but we need to transfer that to the first innings and be more positive,” he said.
The bowling department, which has bowled well in spurts, has struggled to pick up wickets. While this has been a concern for Coley, he says things are improving with each match.
“Our bowling is young and is improving, but what I want is for them to trust their skills more and take information from the pitch and the opposition quickly and be more disciplined right throughout.”
Barbados Pride are showing some amount of confidence, having won six of their 10 matches against the Scorpions. Despite only winning once at Sabina Park in the five matches, coach Emmerson Trotman is looking to continue on their winnings ways after their victory over the Guyana Jaguars.
“We are looking to continue the momentum from the Guyana game,” Trotman said. “The boys have not been performing badly despite our slow start, but they have learnt quickly, and we are ready to go.”
The Pride will be banking on the experience of all-rounders Jonathan Carter and Kyle Mayers. Test batsman and captain Kraigg Brathwaite, as well as Shamar Brooks and Shane Dowrich, are expected to come up big with the bat, while Test pacer Kemar Roach and spinner Ashley Nurse will lead the bowling unit.
Today’s action bowls off at Sabina Park at 10 a.m.