Haynes warns Scorpions about further sloppy performances

Senior staff reporter

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

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IN the wake of the five-wicket loss on Monday to Windward Islands Volcanoes in the regional four-day game, Jamaica Scorpions Interim Coach Robert Haynes is warning his players against further sloppy performances in the field, even while noting positives coming out of the defeat.

After taking a vital 97-run first-innings lead, the Scorpions, crippled by numerous missed chances, could not defend 287 runs, and in the end the Volcanoes were hardly troubled in coasting to 289-5 on the final day.

“Overall, I think the bowlers did well. I think our biggest letdown was the dropped catches,” Haynes told the Jamaica Observer at the end of the day/night encounter at Sabina Park.

“We dropped too many, and when you drop so many catches in any cricket game you're not going to win. This is something we have to get right because if we don't get it right we are going to lose all of the games.

“When you have a total to defend and the bowlers are bowling so well you have to back up the bowlers by taking the catches and stopping the ball in the field. We have been doing a lot of fielding drills… they are not difficult catches, so I put it down to lack of concentration,” he added.

The loss to the Volcanoes is their second in as many outings this season after previously falling to a 41-run defeat away to Barbados Pride last month.

Following that defeat, Haynes was given the interim head coach role as replacement for the under-fire Robert Samuels, whose contract was not renewed. Haynes' four-month coaching stint officially began January 1.

For the Scorpions, left-hander Assad Fudadin made 81 in the first innings and fell only two runs short of a half century in the second. Rovman Powell impacted very little with the bat, but his medium pace bowling got him seven wickets in the match, including 5-23 in the first innings.

Opener Chadwick Walton made 52 in the first innings, while fast bowler Reynard Leveridge bowled with plenty energy and got considerable away swing despite only one wicket in the match. Young speedster Oshane Thomas bowled well in spurts and took three wickets.

Amidst the disappointment, Haynes focused on some of these performances.

“It's tough for sure, but although we lost the game there were a lot of positives in terms of how some of the guys played; for instance, Chadwick at the top, who didn't get any runs in the first game, and Fudadin, who batted very well in both innings.

“You also have to look at Leveridge. I have been watching Leveridge for quite a while, and this is the best I've seen him bowl for a very long time. There was consistent pace, hitting the right areas, [but] it was just unfortunate for him,” he said.

Aside from the fielding blunders, the Scorpions were also left to rue their inability to set the Volcanoes a bigger target after making only 189 in their second innings when it appeared the pitch was, by and large, flattening out into a more docile surface as the game went on.

For the Volcanoes, Kavem Hodge won the player-of-the-match award after taking six wickets in the match with his left-arm finger spin and hitting an unbeaten 59 in their run-chase. Tall pacer Josh Thomas also grabbed six wickets, while Captain Kirk Edwards top-scored for them in the second innings with 76.

The victory represented back-to-back wins on the road after previously beating the Red Force in Trinidad and Tobago. They had lost their opening game of the season to four-time defending champions Guyana Jaguars.

Edwards said the Volcanoes are hitting their stride after the losing start to the four-day campaign.

“I think the important thing is to put the [previous] game behind you. It's always about the next one. So even though we're on a two-game winning streak here, it's important to take the positives from the game and just to move forward,” he told reporters during a post-game interview.

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