Defending champions move into a tie for the lead

GROS-ISLET, St. Lucia, CMC – Paul Palmer and Jermaine Blackwood shared 51 for the fifth wicket to limp reigning champions Jamaica to a five-wicket victory over Leeward Islands in the TCL Group West Indies Under-19 Challenge yesterday.

Palmer, the Jamaica captain, hit the top score of 45, and Blackwood was not out on 30, as the Jamaicans, chasing 136 for victory, reached their target just before the scheduled close on the third and final day of their third round match at the Beausejour Cricket Ground.

The result meant that Jamaica moved into a two-way tie with Windward Islands on 21 points at the top of the table, with the Leewards remaining firmly rooted on the bottom with three points.

The Jamaicans and the Windwards meet at the same venue in the fourth round, starting tomorrow, when the Leewards tackle Trinidad & Tobago at the Gros-Islet Playing Field.

Donovan Nelson and John Campbell had shared six wickets between them, as the Jamaicans dismissed the Leewards for 225 in their second innings in the final hour before tea.

Campbell ended with three for 54, and Nelson three for 76, after the Leewards resumed from their overnight total of 98 for two, and their batting crumpled.

Hayden Walsh Jr was the stand-out for the Leewards with 66, and their captain Adelvin Phillip made 34.

Jamaica slipped to 76 for four before Palmer and Blackwood came to their rescue with solid batting.

Shane Burton ended with two for 28 from six overs for the Leewards, who lost for the second time in the competition, following a defeat to Guyana in the first round.

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