West Indies trio returns for Scorpions

By Sanjay Myers
Senior staff reporter

Thursday, January 03, 2019

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JAMAICA Scorpions Captain Paul Palmer says the return of key players from West Indies duty is a boost to the team for this weekend's regional four-day match against Windward Islands Volcanoes at Sabina Park.

All-rounders Rovman Powell and Fabian Allen and fast bowler Oshane Thomas were members of the West Indies limited-over squads recently in Bangladesh.

While there, they missed the Scorpions' first game of the four-day championship — an immensely disappointing 41-run loss inside three days to hosts Barbados Pride in mid-December.

“It's a good addition and a good boost to the squad,” Palmer told the Jamaica Observer after a net session at Sabina Park yesterday.

“We are looking forward to their support because they are West Indies players and have that international experience. They are good people to bounce ideas off and I'm really looking forward to working with them,” added Palmer, who celebrates his 27th birthday on Saturday.

The 21-year-old Thomas has excited many with his pace since his emergence on the regional scene in 2016. Palmer said the tall, powerfully-built bowler is a much-needed weapon.

“It's always good to have him [Thomas]; it's always good to have that ammunition as a captain, to have men bowling fast and accurate,” Palmer said.

Allen, 23, grabbed regional attention while scoring two centuries last season. And he has not looked back since, winning admirers with his clean hitting, tidy left-arm spin and outstanding fielding in the Twenty20 format.

“Last year he [Allen] did well with the bat for us in first-class cricket, so we are looking forward to him coming in and adding that length to the batting order,” the Scorpions skipper explained.

Powell, 25, who made his first-class debut in 2015, has played only five matches at that level, and is regarded by some as a limited-over specialist. But Palmer thinks the hard-hitting batsman, who also bowls handy medium pace, can excel in the longer format.

“Rovman has played regional four-day cricket and he also has over 30 ODIs (One-Day Internationals), so he's an experienced player, and I think once Rovman really puts down his head and bats he should be able to play this format.

“Times in the past you heard people questioning him in white clothes [four-day cricket], but I think he has the ability. He desires to play and made himself available to play, so hats off to Rovman,” Palmer argued.

The selection panel, which comprises Chairman Junior Bennett, Ephraim McLeod and recently-appointed interim coach Robert Haynes, found room for Guyanese-born Assad Fudadin after the 33-year-old left-hander failed to make the cut for the Scorpions' season opener.

The players to make way are batsmen Andre McCarthy and Steven Taylor, and Barbadian-born all-rounder Kenroy Williams. Medium pacer Derval Green, who claimed three wickets in the loss to the Pride, is ruled out due to a left knee injury suffered in that encounter.

The rest of the squad features left-hand opener John Campbell; middle-order batsman Jermaine Blackwood; wicketkeepers Chadwick Walton and Aldaine Thomas; left-arm spinners Nikita Miller and Dennis Bulli; and fast bowlers Reynard Leveridge and Jermaine Levy.

The day/night encounter against the Volcanoes is slated to start tomorrow at 2:00 pm.

The Scorpions, who have played just one match, are languishing fifth in the six-team league standing with five points.

The Volcanoes, who are guided by Jamaican-born former West Indies Assistant Coach Andre Coley, are fourth with 21.6 points.

Reigning four-time champions Guyana Jaguars are top with 37 points, followed by the Pride (22.6) and Leeward Islands Hurricanes (22.2). Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, who have also played only one round so far, are last with 4.4 points.

Squads: Scorpions — Paul Palmer (Captain), John Campbell, Assad Fudadin, Jermaine Blackwood, Fabian Allen, Rovman Powell, Chadwick Walton, Aldaine Thomas, Nikita Miller, Oshane Thomas, Reynard Leveridge, Dennis Bulli, Jermaine Levy.

Volcanoes — Kirk Edwards (Captain), Devon Smith, Sunil Ambris, Taryck Gabriel, Kavem Hodge, Alick Athanaze, Obed McCoy, Denis Smith, Josh Thomas, Shermon Lewis, Roland Cato, Ray Jordan, Larry Edward.

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