Powell credits Academy for Scorpion’s wake-up call
NORTH SOUND, Antigua (CMC):
Captain Rovman Powell has described Jamaica Scorpions' stunning group stage defeat to West Indies Academy as a wake-up call, which helped to transform their campaign and lay the platform for their eventual capture of the Super50 Cup.
Scorpions fended off a late challenge from reigning champions Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in Saturday's day/night final to win by three wickets and lift their first regional one-day title in 11 years.
That success appeared unlikely when Scorpions slumped to two defeats in their opening three Zone B matches - the second coming at the hands of the Academy minnows when they failed to chase down a paltry 182.
"It was a wake-up call. It showed we approached that game a little bit complacent," Powell said following their championship win at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.
"And we told the guys ... all the teams here are a challenge and all the teams are playing good cricket so we've got to wake up, and I think that game really sent a message throughout the team."
He added, "When we started the competition we were a little bit scared to chase. We got 170 against the Academy and we couldn't make it. That sent some jitters throughout.
"But we just kept reinforcing that yes, we are a good team, it was just a bad game, and once we keep putting our hands up - the key players - everything will be taken care of."
Jamaica finished top of their zone and then produced two emphatic batting performances to clinch the title. In the semi-finals against Guyana Harpy Eagles, they chased down a tournament-high 318 to win with 11 balls to spare and then easily overhauled Red Force's meagre 217 on Saturday, even though they wavered late in the run chase.
Red Force also entered the final on the back of a 300-plus score in their semi-final against Barbados Pride, but never came to grips with the Scorpions' attack after they were asked to bat first.
"It's not just today (Saturday) but throughout the entire competition, the bowlers bailed us out of a lot of trouble throughout ... and a lot of credit has to be given to them," Powell explained.
"It's also good to see the batters stand up. Once Jamaica's batters stand up and score runs, they normally do well in past competitions.
"The team normally do well in past competitions because there's always been consistent bowling (so) a lot of credit has to be given to my bowling unit."