Volcanoes fight for survival against front-runners; Scorpions top order crumble against left-armers
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Leaders Guyana Jaguars and winless Trinidad & Tobago Red Force put themselves within sight of victory after play in the West Indies Championship on Saturday.
The Jaguars defied face-saving half-centuries from Alick Athanaze and Devon Smith and looked set to complete their fourth straight victory of the season, after forcing the Windward Islands Volcanoes to follow on at the Guyana National Stadium third day of fourth-round matches.
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At the other end of the Caribbean archipelago – Khary Pierre and Daniel St. Clair topped another destructive spell from fellow left-arm bowler Nikita Miller with a series of crucial strikes in the final hour to put Trinidad & Tobago Red Force within sight of their first victory of the season against Jamaica Scorpions at Sabina Park.
Barbados Pride and Leeward Islands Hurricanes – the other two teams in the Championship – have had their fourth-round contest rescheduled to March.
Jaguars (454-9 dec) vs Volcanoes (209) & 167-3 in Providence, Guyana
Following on, Smith, last season’s leading run scorer, led the way with 65 to anchor the Volcanoes batting, but they ended the day still trailing by 78.
Smith helped the visitors have a steady start the second time around with Tarryck Gabriel, who was caught behind off Sherfane Rutherford for 16, becoming the first of three victims for wicketkeeper Anthony Bramble before the close.
Smith counted eight fours from 128 balls in close to 2 ¾ hours at the crease, sharing 75 for the second wicket with Roland Cato before they were both dismissed – caught behind off Romario Shepherd and first innings wrecker Keemo Paul respectively – in the final session of the day.
The Volcanoes hopes of a survival rest with their captain Kirk Edwards, the discarded WINDIES batsman, not out on 40, and former WINDIES Under-19 batsman Kavem Hodge, not out on three.
Earlier, Athanaze hit the top score of 66 for the Volcanoes, but they were bowled in their first innings just after lunch.
Paul ended with 6-57 from 17 overs – the third time he has claimed five or more scalps in a first-class match.
Athanaze collected 11 fours and one six from 114 balls in nearly three hours at the crease and resisted the Jags attack to add 90 for the sixth wicket with Denis Smith.
Once Smith fell to Shepherd for 37, there was little resistance from the rest of the batting.
Red Force (203 & 233) vs Scorpions (112) & 108-5 in Kingston, Jamaica
Left-arm spinner Pierre claimed 2-16 from nine overs to follow up a valuable 46 with the bat and left-arm medium-fast bowler St. Clair grabbed 2-12 from six overs, as the Scorpions, chasing 325 for victory, endured another inexplicable batting slump.
This followed left-arm spinner Miller taking 7-87 from 32.4 overs for the Scorpions, as several Red Force batsmen, led by Pierre, got starts without carrying on.
Scorpions started the chase soundly, as Oraine Williams dominated an opening stand of 89 with Chadwick Walton before he was caught behind off Pierre for 56 that included nine fours and two sixes from 67 balls in 79 minutes of batting.
Three balls later, Pierre had Walton stumped for 26 before leg-spinner Imran Khan removed Andre McCarthy for one to leave Scorpions 90 for three.
The home team was set back further, when St. Clair trapped Scorpions captain Paul Palmer lbw for eight in his fourth over and bowled Barbadian all-rounder Kenroy Williams for a four-ball duck in his next over inside the final 45 minutes.
Earlier, Pierre shared three small, but frustrating stands with the international trio of Darren Bravo, Jason Mohammed and Denesh Ramdin to extend the Red Force’s innings and set up a challenging target.
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 9 wickets – Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, Antigua
Red Force lost to Volcanoes by 76 runs – Brian Lara Cricket Academy
Friday, January 4 to Monday, January 7
Scorpions lost to Volcanoes by 5 wickets – Sabina Park, Jamaica
Red Force lost to Hurricanes by 245 runs – Brian Lara Cricket Academy
Pride lost to Jaguars by 6 wickets – Kensington Oval, Barbados
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
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