BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – Not even a stunning half-century from rookie Fabian Allen could prevent Jamaica Scorpions from a sudden collapse, as they crashed to a 26-run defeat to Barbados Pride in their final match of the Regional four-day championship here yesterday.
Starting the final day at Kensington Oval on 114 for one in pursuit of 341 for victory, Scorpions were dismissed for 314, in the second session, after suffering a swift lower order meltdown.
Chadwick Walton, unbeaten on 70 overnight, made 93 while Trevon Griffith, who started the day on 25, made 53.
Allen, in only his fourth first-class game, smashed an entertaining 60 off 35 deliveries and Test batsman Jermaine Blackwood chimed in with 44.
Scorpions reached lunch on 241 for five – with another 100 runs required in the final two sessions of the contest.
But Test left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican claimed five for 87 and veteran spinner Sulieman Benn, also a left-armer, picked up three for 90, as Scorpions lost their last five wickets for 73 runs.
The defeat for Scorpions was their fifth of the campaign and their fourth in five outings in the latter half of the competition, after leading at the mid-season break.
Starting the day in control of the run chase, Walton and Griffith extended their second wicket stand to 137 before being separated.
Scorpions were increasing their stranglehold on the game when Grifftih swung Warrican to Ashley Nurse at mid-on at 162 for two. Just inside the hour mark, Walton perished with his fifth first-class century in sight, superbly taken at short leg by Kyle Corbin off off-spinner Kenroy Williams.
All told, Walton faced 181 deliveries in a shade over 3-1/4 hours at the crease and counted seven fours and four sixes.
Scenting a way back, Pride claimed Paul Palmer cheaply for five to a juggling catch at leg slip by Jonathan Carter off Warrican, as Scorpions slumped to 176 for four.
Blackwood and the experienced Devon Thomas then came together to steady the innings, in a 65-run, fifth-wicket stand which seemed to be carrying Scorpions safely to the break.
But Blackwood fell on the stroke of lunch, when he edged Benn to Nurse at slip at 241 for five, after he had struck three fours and a six in a breezy 66-ball knock.
It all went haywire for Scorpions after lunch, with three wickets tumbling for five runs in the space of 20 balls to leave Scorpions on the verge of defeat at 251 for eight.
However, Allen brandished his bat to good effect, blasting three fours and six sixes to rally the innings and give Scorpions hope.
He put on a vital 44 for the ninth wicket with captain Nikita Miller (4) which rattled Pride before Warrican had Miller caught at slip by Benn.
Allen’s last-ditch effort ended when he holed out to Kevin Stoute at cover off Warrican.
PRIDE 1st innings 377
SCORPIONS 1st innings 224
PRIDE 2nd innings 187
SCORPIONS 2nd innings (target: 341 runs) (o/n 114 for one)
C. Walton c Corbin b Williams 93
J. Campbell lbw b Nurse 10
T. Griffith c Nurse b Warrican 53
J. Blackwood c Nurse b Benn 44
P. Palmer c Carter b Warrican 5
D. Thomas lbw b Benn 24
F. Allen c Stoute b Warrican 60
D. Green lbw b Benn 1
D. Bulli b Warrican 0
N. Miller c Benn b Warrican 4
J. Taylor not out 6
Extras: (b-11, w-2, nb-1) 14
Total: (all out, 87.1 overs) 314
Fall of wickets: 1-25, 2-162, 3-167, 4-176, 5-241, 6-246, 7-250, 8-251, 9-295.
Bowling: Nurse 15-5-54-1, Greaves 13-2-39-0 (w-2, nb-1), Benn 24-4-90-3, Warrican 26.1-5-87-5, Williams 9-0-33-1.