BASSETERRE, St Kitts (CMC) – Jahmar Hamilton hit his second straight hundred for Leeward Islands Hurricanes, whose batting was undercut by an incisive spell of leg-spin bowling from Damion Jacobs in the WICB Regional 4-Day Tournament on Thursday.The 26-year-old Hamilton cracked the top score of 103, Rahkeem Cornwall supported with 66 and Chesney Hughes made 30, but Jacobs grabbed 5-103 from 37 overs, as the Hurricanes were bowled out for 243 in their first innings.
Scorpions reached 33 without loss in reply at the close on the opening day of the day/night, fifth round contest at Warner Park with Shacaya Thomas not out on 22 and John Campbell not out on nine.
The diminutive Hamilton, a wicketkeeper/batsman from Anguilla, continued in the rich vein of form which he has found following the break in the tournament a fortnight ago, after he made 94 and 125 in the previous match against Windward Islands Volcanoes at Windsor Park in Dominica.
He struck 10 fours and two sixes from 200 balls in 4 ½ hours of batting and reached his milestone from seven fewer deliveries, when he swung Jacobs over the deep mid-wicket boundary for his final six before Rovman Powell had him caught at slip to bring the curtain down on the Hurricanes innings.
Hamilton shared two vitals stands that propped up the Hurricanes’ batting. He put on 72 for the fourth wicket with left-hander Hughes, his fellow Anguillan, to rescue the home team from a wobbly 24 for three, and shared 102 for the sixth wicket with Cornwall after the hosts stumbled to 96 for five.
Jacobs made the breakthrough after the Hurricanes elected to bat, when he trapped left-handed opener Kieran Powell, the home team captain, lbw for 18 in the first half-hour.
The wickets of Montcin Hodge, caught in the slips off returning Scorpions fast bowler Marquino Mindley, and Kacey Carty, run-out, both for ducks, left the innings at the crossroads before Hamilton came to the crease and put the visitors on the back-foot with Hughes with typically effervescent batting.
After taking the Hurricanes to the dinner break on 77 for three, Hughes played back to a flatter, faster delivery from Jacobs and was bowled, a similar fate four overs later that befell Tonito Willett, playing a regional first-class match for the first time in more than 2 ½ years.
But Cornwall came to the wicket and defied the Scorpions for a little over 1 ¾ hours to add backbone to the Hurricanes batting with Hamilton. They carried the total 183 for five at tea with the heavy-set Cornwall reaching his 50 from 62 balls with two sweetly-timed on-drives.
After the break, Hamilton tickled Jacobs to deep fine leg for a boundary to bring up the 100-partnership, but the leg-spinner bowled Cornwall and Jeremiah Louis for a duck in the space of four deliveries with the first batting point in sight.
Hamilton continued his charge towards a hundred and carried the Hurricanes past 200 with Gavin Tonge before the home team lost their last three wickets for 16 in the space of 23 balls.
Carty, a member of the West Indies Under-19 World Cup-winning squad, all-rounder Willett and fast-medium bowler Quinton Boatswain were brought into the Hurricanes line-up from the previous match in place of the ill Nkrumah Bonner, as well as out-of-favour Akeem Saunders and Jacques Taylor.
Mindley was the only change to the table-leading Scorpions, replacing fellow fast-medium bowler Derval Green.
Scorpions lead the current standings with 46.8 points and Hurricanes are fourth with 36.6.
HURRICANES 1st innings
K. Powell lbw b Jacobs 18
M. Hodge c Blackwood b Mindley 0
C. Hughes b Jacobs 30
K. Carty run-out 0
J. Hamilton c Campbell b Powell 103
T. Willett b Jacobs 1
R. Cornwall c wkp. D. Thomas b Jacobs 66
J. Louis b Jacobs 0
G. Tonge c King b Miller 13
A. Joseph c Blackwood b Miller 4
Q. Boatswain not out 0
Extras: (lb-2, w-2, nb-4) 8
Total: (all out, 80.5 overs) 243
Fall of wickets: 1-19, 2-23, 3-24, 4-92, 5-96, 6-198, 7-227, 8-243, 9-243.
Bowling: Leveridge 6-0-27-0 (nb-4, w-1), Mindley 7-3-22-1, Jacobs 37-6-103-5 (w-1), Powell 9.5-2-40-1, Miller 21-3-49-2.
SCORPIONS 1st innings
J. Campbell not out 9
S. Thomas not out 22
Extras: (lb-1, nb-1) 2
Total: (without loss, 9 overs) 33
Bowling: Cornwall 3-3-0-0, Joseph 2-0-7-0, Tonge 2-0-9-0, Louis 1-0-11-0, Boatswain 1-0-5-0 (nb-1).
Position: Scorpions trail by 210 with all first innings wickets standing