Sunday, April 21, 2024

Barbados hammer Scorpions


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An ultra-cautious career-best 166 by Shamarh Brooks contrasted with the carefree cameo of the cavalier Jermaine Blackwood, who batted boldly  before carelessly surrendering his wicket just before the close of play.

Blackwood’s recklessness left Jamaica Scorpions on 93 for three off 16.4 overs, replying to Barbados Pride’s first innings total of 427 on the second day of their Digicel Professional Cricket League Regional 4-Day cricket match at Kensington Oval yesterday.

Barbados Pride’s total was built around the elegant right-handed Brooks’ mature and meticulous knock, which spanned 507 minutes and 357 balls and contained 19 fours after he resumed from an overnight 104 not out with his team strongly positioned on 261 for two.

Wicketkeeper/batsman Chadwick Walton is not out on 26, alongside Paul Palmer, who is yet to score.

There was a wicket each for rookie pacers Chemar Holder and Keon Harding as well as seamer Justin Greaves, who removed the happy-go-lucky Blackwood for a breezy 39, studded with eight fours off 31 balls.    

With the close of play approaching, Blackwood brazenly charged Greaves as if he was a cowboy in a 5:30 p.m. western movie instead of a first-class match.

He audaciously confronted the bowler with a cross-batted shot only to get an inside edge onto the centre stump, which was broken in two pieces.    

It ended a rousing 55-run stand with Walton after they came together at 38 for two.

Holder had bounced out opener John Campbell for 16 with a short delivery which he top-edged trying to pull, only for wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich to skip around the slips and take a simple catch.

The recalled Harding, one of seven Combermerians in the Barbados Pride line-up who benefited from the guidance of their former successful school coach Roddy Estwick, also struck an early blow, removing Andre McCarthy for three, caught by Dowrich.

Blackwood came in and immediately went after Harding, nonchalantly smashing his first delivery over the bowler’s head.

He pulled the next disdainfully through mid-wicket for another boundary and swatted the fourth ball over mid-off for third four.

When debutant left-arm seamer Dominic Drakes replaced Harding, Blackwood also hammered him for three fours in his first over before his imprudence against the more experienced Greaves caused his downfall.

Earlier, Barbados Pride made slow progress after the Scorpions took the second new ball, scoring a mere 38 runs in 20 overs while moving to 299 for four at lunch.

Barbados lost Jonathan Carter without addition to his overnight score of 36 when he trapped leg before wicket on the back foot by pacer Derval Green.

After a brief shower stopped play for half hour, Roston Chase went by a similar route to fast bowler Marquino Mindley for 10 on the stroke of lunch.

On resumption, Barbados, who were 285 for four off 102.5 overs, needing 15 more runs over the next  7.1 overs to secure a third batting point, showed no urgency to get to the 300-run mark.

With Brooks and Dowrich seemingly unaware of the situation, Barbados inexplicably failed to collect that extra point despite being gifted five wides with a wayward leg-side delivery from Green.

Needing two runs off the 110th over to reach 300, Barbados only managed a single to fine leg off the fourth ball from Rovman Powell.

Afterwards, Dowrich again fell in disappointing fashion for just 12, feathering a flick off Green for Walton to take a neat leg-side catch diving to his left.

Greaves then added 52 for the sixth wicket with Brooks but departed for 15, courtesy Blackwood’s brilliant, one-handed diving catch at slip as the batsman tried to cut left-arm spinner Nikita Miller.

After Brooks, who pushed his tournament aggregate to 632 runs in eight matches at an average of 48.61, finally fell at 394-7, beaten by a flat delivery from off-spinner Campbell, which skidded onto him for English umpire Mike Burns to give the LBW verdict, Barbados Pride opted to bat on.

It allowed debutant Drakes to show off his batting ability with a knock of 33 off 79 balls, which included a lofted six over wide long-on off Miller and five fours. (EZS)


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