Sunday, March 3, 2024

Spin rules at the Park


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Superb bowling by spinners Jason Smith, of Seven Seas Police, and Super Centre Spartan’s Andre Marshall and Sulieman Benn, highlighted a dramatic rain-shortened second day yesterday that left the hosts poised for an outright victory today.
Having secured a 73-run first innings lead, the home team reduced their guests to 91 for seven, merely 18 runs ahead with only three wickets in hand.
Smith stifled Spartan’s attempt at gaining the minimum two batting points with a six-wicket haul as the hosts, resuming on 134-5, fell for 196 in their first innings just before rain interrupted the match for the third and final time.
Some 75 minutes were lost at the start due to overnight and early morning showers, while another shower at 2:20 p.m. forced a decision to take the tea interval half hour ahead of schedule with the home team on 165-6.
Marrodon Bend, not out 11 overweek, was the first of Smith’s four wickets on the day, lbw for 28.
His overweek not out partner, Jabbar Niles, and Sulieman Benn stayed together until the break but the former soon became the victim of a misunderstanding to be run out without adding to his teatime score.
Benn launched a brief assault on the probing Smith, smacking successive boundaries off the diminutive off-spinner before finishing off the over that cost 15 runs with a straight hit for six.
Smith, however, got the last laugh when the lanky left-hander holed out to cover in the following over, leaving a further 14 runs required off 9.5 overs to reach the 200 landmark that ensured at least two batting points.
Jeremy Marshall laboured for 39 balls to be unbeaten on four as Smith wrapped up the innings by adding the scalps of Andre Marshall and last man Aamir Thomas to his tally.
Opening bat Richard Greaves sparkled at the start of the visitors’ second innings as he and skipper Roger Williams put on 44 to make quick inroads into the deficit.
However, after posting 32, Greaves essayed an ill-advised sweep to a full-length delivery from Marshall to be adjudged lbw and provide the bowler with his first wicket, triggering the first of two mini batting collapses.
Three more wickets tumbled for the addition of seven runs and it took a belligerent Larry Babb to help the captain hold up Spartan’s bowlers before the second implosion commenced.
Benn finished with figures of four for 29 and Marshall three for 32.
Williams has so far carried his bat for a gutsy 22.


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