Title-chasers Jamaica Scorpions and Barbados Pride will square-off in a crucial encounter in the penultimate set of matches of the group phase of the WICB/NAGICO Insurance Super50 Tournament in Trinidad and Tobago today.Second and third, respectively, in Group A with 10 and nine points each, the two will enter the contest knowing that a win for eight team would all but secure them a place in the semi-finals.Group leaders Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, who oppose cellar dwellers ICC America, are presently on 17 points and have already qualified for the semi-finals.”It’s a (virtual) must-win for both of us, so I guess they (Barbados) will be playing it like a final and we will be doing the same,” Jamaica’s captain, John Campbell, said yesterday.The return-led round-robin fixture will see both teams entering the contest with a win two, lose two record, with Jamaica ahead based on having two bonus points compared to Barbados’ one.The Scorpions, however, can claim bragging rights, having defeated Barbados by two wickets when the two met earlier this week.Led by a man-of-the-match bowling performance of three for 18 from left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell, Jamaica bowled out the Pride for a mere 138 before replying with 139 for eight.The in-form Andre McCarthy, who also has a tournament century, and Antiguan Devon Thomas led the batting for the Scorpions with 49 and 33, respectively.However, with the end of the Australian Test series both teams have been strengthened with the return of West Indies players to their line-ups.Barbados has been injected with seven players – Jason Holder, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shai Hope, Carlos Brathwaite, Shane Dowich, Miguel Cummins, and Jomel Warrican, while Jamaica will benefit from the return of Jerome Taylor and Jermaine Blackwood.”They have got back all their players from Australia, and have a better squad, and are also coming off a win, so they should be confident,” remarked Campbell.”But we are not too concerned,” he said. “We have seen signs of improvement throughout the tournament, and, it is just for us to put it together.”Jamaica will play the Americas and Barbados will tackle Trinidad in the final set of group matches scheduled for Sunday.The semi-finals will be played next Wednesday and Thursday, with the final carded for next Saturday, all at Queen’s Park Oval.
Liverpool have signed midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum from Newcastle in a £25million deal.The Holland international is believed to have signed a five-year contract, and Liverpool will pay an initial £23million with a further £2million in conditional add-ons.Wijnaldum will travel to Palo Alto in California to join his new team-mates on their tour of the United States over the weekend.The 25-year-old is manager Jurgen Klopp’s seventh signing of the summer, following Loris Karius, Joel Matip, Marko Grujic, Sadio Mane, Ragnar Klavan and Alex Manninger to Anfield.Wijnaldum scored 11 goals in 38 league appearances in his maiden season in England, however Newcastle were relegated.On the prospect of working with Klopp, Wijnaldum told liverpoolfc.com: “(He seems) a great man – from the outside – because I don’t know how he works yet and I have to work with him.“(But) I always love to watch him, his passion as a trainer, I like how he enjoys the game. He gives something back to the group (with his passion) so I look forward to working with him.”Klopp is also keen to start working with the Dutchman, which is why he is flying out almost immediately to join the rest of the squad.“I think he can be a great player for us,” said the Reds boss.“He has already shown some really good moments in his career but the most exciting and important thing for me and my staff is that there is still so much extra to come from him.“When I talked to him I could tell that he knows we have to work together to get this level out of him to all be successful for the team.“He has played a lot for his country already, been captain at a young age in Holland and also been involved in a tough Premier League season so this experience gives him a good foundation for the challenge here – which everybody knows is huge.“He can play a few positions for us and players that come through the Dutch system usually have a good tactical understanding and flexibility. That’s really important.“I can’t wait to get him on the training pitch and for the fans to see him play in a Liverpool shirt.” Georginio Wijnaldum 1