ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Jamaica Scorpions captain Nikita Miller upstaged veteran opener Devon Smith in the battle between the top bowler and batsman in Windies first-class history to give his side the early edge over Windward Islands Volcanoes when the Digicel 4-Day Championship resumed on Thursday.
Left-arm spinner Miller led the demolition of the Volcanoes batting, but the left-handed Smith batted brilliantly to hit his third hundred of the season on the first day of their fifth round of match at Sabina Park.
In the feature match, half-centuries from Justin Greaves and Kenroy Williams breathed life back into the Barbados Pride batting after Windies “A” fast bowler Keon Joseph left the reeling early against Guyana Jaguars at the Guyana National Stadium.
A century opening between former Windies Under-19 opener Amir Jangoo and senior Windies Test batsman Kyle Hope gave Trinidad & Tobago Red Force a strong start against Leeward Islands Hurricanes at Warner Park.
Volcanoes (200) vs Scorpions 43-0 in Kingston, Jamaica
Miller, the most successful bowler in the history of the Windies first-class championship, captured 5-60 from 29 overs with his steady left-arm spin, as the Volcanoes were bowled out inside the first hour after tea.
Playing only his second match of the season, due to a medical procedure during the off-season, he carved up the Volcanoes batting after he belatedly brought himself into the attack on a pitch that was offering assistance to the spin bowlers from early.
But Smith, the most prolific batsman in Windies first-class history, slammed an undefeated 116 and was the only Volcanoes batsman that offered prolonged resistance to the Scorpions’ bowling.
He became the first batsman this season to pass 400 runs and batted just under five hours for his 26th Regional 4-Day and 31st first-class career hundred that came from 254 balls and included seven fours and four sixes.
John Campbell, bowling his uncomplicated off-spin, supported Miller in the demolition of the Volcanoes batting with 3-38 from 14 overs.
Campbell returned to finish not out on 37 and Trevon Griffith was not out on five, as the Scorpions started their reply strongly before stumps were drawn.
Pride 282-8 vs Jaguars in Providence, Guyana
Greaves was not out on 72 and Williams scored 68 to resuscitate the Pride after a top-order collapse left them wobbling on 123 for five, after they decided to bat against the current leaders and reigning three-time champions.
Greaves and Williams shared 121 for the sixth wicket, after left-handed opener Shayne Moseley made 47 and all-rounder Kevin Stoute hit 43 to bring the visitors back in the game following an early stumble on 32 for three.
Moseley and Stoute put on 78 for the fourth wicket before they were dismissed within seven overs of each other, paving the way for the Greaves-Williams partnership.
Joseph has been the most successful Jaguars bowler, taking 3-63 from 17 overs, and fellow pacer Keemo Paul, the former Windies Under-19 World Cup-winning all-rounder, grabbed 2-54 from 13 overs.
Hurricanes (207) vs Red Force 148-0 in Basseterre, St. Kitts
Left-hander Jangoo was not out on 81 – eyeing a maiden first-class hundred – and got resolute support from Hope – not out on 61 – as Red Force made a dominant reply against the Hurricanes.
Jangoo, in his seventh first-class match, made light work of the Hurricanes attack, striking seven fours and half-dozen sixes from 112 balls in just over 2 ¼ hours, and Test batsman Hope has collected a silky eight fours from 113 balls.
Earlier, wicketkeeper Devon Thomas top-scored with 46 and Hurricanes captain Rahkeem Cornwall, the Windies “A” Team off-spin bowling all-rounder, made 43, as the home team collapsed from 60 for one, after opting to bat first.
Shane Burton got 29 and Chesney Hughes added 29, but the remainder of the batting failed to show enterprise.
Fast bowler Roshon Primus was the most successful Red Force bowler, taking 4-57 from 12 overs, leg-spinner Imran Khan claimed 3-26 from just six overs and off-spinner Bryan Charles supported with 2-53 from 13 overs.