Star-studded Pride under pressure to avoid follow-on against Jaguars; career-best spell for Powell, but Volcanoes hit back against Scorpions; Solozano spares Red Force blushes against Hurricanes
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua– A second first-class hundred for wicketkeeper/batsman Anthony Bramble and a career-best spell for WINDIES all-rounder Rovman Powell were the eye-catching performances in the West Indies Championship on Saturday.
Bramble was unbeaten on 130, becoming the second century-maker for front-runners and four-time defending champions Guyana Jaguars, as they rammed home their advantage against a formidable Barbados Pride attack on the second day of their third-round match at Kensington Oval.
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Meantime, Powell, the WINDIES One-day International captain for the Tour of Bangladesh last month, grabbed 5-23 from seven overs to undermine the Windward Islands Volcanoes batting and give the Jamaica Scorpions a 97-run, first-innings lead in their day/night contest at Sabina Park, which the home team frittered away with another inexplicable batting collapse.
And, left-handed opener Jeremy Solozano stood firm for Trinidad & Tobago Red Force with a resolute half-century, as Leeward Islands Hurricanes knocked off the home team’s top order and tightened their grip on the match at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy.
Jaguars (548) vs Pride 33-1 in Bridgetown, Barbados
Bramble followed up opener Chandrapaul Hemraj’s maiden first-class hundred with a stroke-filled innings that underlined the Jags’ dominance of a Pride attack that comprised six international stars.
He struck 17 fours and one six from 208 balls in 5 ½ hours to anchor the bottom half of the Jaguars’ batting, as they fell just four short in their first innings of their highest total ever in a first-class match in Barbados.
Raymon Reifer, with whom he added 157 for the sixth wicket, made 75 and Sherfane Rutherford, another left-handed all-rounder, showed why Delhi Capitals snapped him up in the Indian Premier League with an enterprising 54 from 43 balls.
Tail-enders Clinton Pestano and Veerasammy Permaul gave proof there was sting in the Jaguars’ tail when they both scored 32 to extend the visitors’ innings past tea on a rain-marred day.
WINDIES ODI off-spinner Ashley Nurse was the most successful Pride bowler with 4-122 from 38 overs.
In reply, Pride suffered a setback, when Reifer had left-handed opener Shane Moseley caught at mid-wicket for 15 off what turned out to be the day’s final delivery, due to rain.
It could have been more painful for the Pride earlier had second slip fielder Christopher Barnwell held a low chance, diving to his right, from WINDIES Test opener Kraigg Brathwaite off new-ball bowler Romario Shepherd.
Heading into day three, Pride will find themselves under pressure to first clear the follow-on target of 398.
Scorpions (210) & 129-6 vs Volcanoes (113) in Kingston, Jamaica
Volcanoes fought back to leave the match at an intriguing stage, after Powell led the demolition of their batting.
The new-ball pair of WINDIES fast bowler Shermon Lewis and fellow Grenadian Josh Thomas shared four wickets between them to put the Scorpions’ batting under the microscope once again.
Test batsman Jermaine Blackwood has so far led the way with 35 and Guyanese left-hander Assad Fudadin was once more holding the innings together with a typically resolute 30, as the Scorpions lost wickets at critical stages.
Earlier, Powell hurt the Volcanoes with the scalp of Roland Cato and returned in a second spell to collect four of the last five wickets – including the visitors’ Barbados-born captain and Test batsman Kirk Edwards – in the space of 21 balls.
Edwards led the way with 29 and Cato added 23, but no other Volcanoes batsman reached 20, as they folded meekly.
Hurricanes (425) vs Red Force 149-4 in Tarouba, Trinidad
Solozano, a century-maker in the previous round of matches before Christmas, was holding the Red Force innings together, as wickets fell around him, stroking an unbeaten 78.
Former WINDIES Test captain Denesh Ramdin made 31 and left-hander Amir Jangoo added 21, but Red Force lost wickets at critical moments, as the Hurricanes turned the screws.
Red Force lost Test batsman Kyle Hope for three in the second over of the innings, but Solozano combined with Jangoo in a 65-run, second wicket stand to ease the jitter.
But irrepressible off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall removed Jangoo and WINDIES ODI batsman Jason Mohammed to leave Red Force 95 for three.
Ramdin came to the crease and eased the tension with a stand of 53 for the fourth wicket before Jeremiah Louis removed him.
Earlier, opener Montcin Hodge converted his overnight hundred into a career-best 158 and Louis made an unbeaten 51, batting at nine, as Hurricanes fell 34 short of their highest total ever against Red Force in Trinidad.
RESULTS OF MATCHES
Thursday, December 6 to Sunday, December 9
Volcanoes lost to Jaguars by 125 runs – Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St. Lucia
Pride lost to Hurricanes by 34 runs – Three Ws Oval, Barbados
Thursday, December 13 to Sunday, December 16
Pride beat Scorpions by 41 runs – Three Ws Oval
Hurricanes lost to Jaguars by nine wickets – Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, Antigua
Red Force lost to Volcanoes by 76 runs – Brian Lara Cricket Academy
SCHEDULE OF MATCHES
(All matches start at 10 am daily, except where indicated)
Thursday, March 14 to Sunday, March 17
Red Force vs Scorpions – Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad
Friday, January 4 to Monday, January 7
Scorpions vs Volcanoes – Sabina Park, Jamaica (2 pm start daily)
Red Force vs Hurricanes – Brian Lara Cricket Academy
Pride vs Jaguars – Kensington Oval, Barbados
Thursday, January 10 to Sunday, January 13
Scorpions vs Red Force – Sabina Park
Jaguars vs Volcanoes – Guyana National Stadium, Guyana (9:30 am start daily)
Thursday, March 14 to Sunday, March 17
Hurricanes vs Pride – Vivian Richards Cricket Ground
Thursday, January 17 to Sunday, January 20
Jaguars vs Hurricanes – Guyana National Stadium (9:30 am start daily)
Red Force vs Pride – Brian Lara Cricket Academy (2 pm start daily)
Volcanoes vs Scorpions – National Cricket Stadium, Grenada
Thursday, January 31 to Sunday, February 3
Hurricanes vs Scorpions – Warner Park, St. Kitts (2 pm start daily)
Red Force vs Jaguars – Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad
Pride vs Volcanoes – Kensington Oval
Thursday, February 7 to Sunday, February 10
Jaguars vs Scorpions – Guyana National Stadium
Pride vs Red Force – Kensington Oval
Volcanoes vs Hurricanes – Windsor Park, Dominica
Thursday, February 21 to Sunday, February 24
Hurricanes vs Red Force – Warner Park
Scorpions vs Jaguars – Sabina Park
Volcanoes vs Pride – Arnos Vale Sports Complex, St. Vincent
Thursday, February 28 to Sunday, March 3
Scorpions vs Hurricanes – Sabina Park
Jaguars vs Pride – Guyana National Stadium
Volcanoes vs Red Force – Arnos Vale Sports Complex
Thursday, March 7 to Sunday, March 10
Scorpions vs Pride – Sabina Park
Jaguars vs Red Force – Guyana National Stadium (2 pm start daily)
Hurricanes vs Volcanoes – Vivian Richards Cricket Ground