STILL smarting from their loss to the Guyana Jaguars a fortnight ago, the Jamaica Scorpions have revenge on their mind when they host the table-topping side at Sabina Park today to February 24 in the Regiona4-day Championship.
The Scorpions had gone into their encounter with the four-time defending champions on the back of consecutive wins but after being in control early in the match, they collapsed in the second innings opening the door for the Jaguars’ comeback.
Head Coach Robert Haynes lamented a lapse in concentration by the batsmen in their second innings but said the team knows exactly what they need to do for a victory on home soil.
“I’ve seen improvements in the batting display, their attitude has also improved and there is still more to be done,” he said.
“At the end of the day, we need to make at least 270 runs whenever we get to the crease if we are to be competitive.”
Haynes has taken note of the seven left-handers in the Jaguars’ line-up and has responded by calling up off-spinner Akim Fraser, the only change from the Scorpions last outing.
“With the unavailability of Rovmon Powell and Nikita Miller we had to include a player who can create problems for the seven lefthanders in their team,” Haynes said.
Fraser, meantime, describes the call to the Scorpion as a dream come true. “Growing up I always wanted to represent the national team. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time,” he said.
The off-spinner’s heroics in the 2018 Senior Cup final when he enjoyed a haul of 8 for 95 earned him recognition and provided the motivation he needed.
Meanwhile, a confident Jaguars captain Leon Johnson believes the team’s dedication to preparation ahead of each game has allowed them to dominate. He also noted that their pace attack has been instrumental to their winning formula.
“Our past couple of coaches have been pace bowlers. We’re always developing seamers and it works,” he said. “The guys in the team know there’s a lot of competition for places so when anyone gets a chance, they put their all in because they know someone else is waiting to replace them.”
Jaguars Coach Rayon Griffith says they owe their success to their proficiency in all their elements of the game – batting, bowling and fielding.
He said the recent appointment of Shivnarine Chanderpaul as an interim assistant coach has buoyed the team’s spirits. “Over the past four years, he has played in the team so he brings a lot of energy into the team. The role is different now, but everyone understands Shiv and knows he’s a hard worker,” Griffith said.
In other matches sarting today Hurricanes take on Red Force at Warner Park, St.Kitts, and Volcanoes play Barbados Pride at the Arnos Vale Sports Complex.