ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad, CMC – Jason Dawes and Andre Russell enhanced Jamaica’s chances of reaching the Final of the WICB Regional first-class championship, after their batsmen, led by Wavell Hinds, piled-up the runs against Trinidad & Tobago yesterday.
Dawes snared two wickets for 28 runs from 11 overs, and West Indies fast bowler Russell collected two for 49 from 10 overs, as T&T, replying to Jamaica’s record first innings total of 664, reached 198 for four at the close on the third day of their semi-final at the UWI Sports & Physical Education Complex.
The Jamaicans have not had it all their way, with T&T captain Daren Ganga striking seven fours in an unbeaten 69 from 141 balls in a little over 3 ½ hours.
Out-of-favour West Indies wicketkeeper/batsman Denesh Ramdin was not out on 49, and Daren’s younger brother, Sherwin, supported with 42.
Jamaica, starting the day on 574 for seven, chose to bat until they were dismissed for their highest total in the modern regional first-class championship (1966 onwards) about half-hour after lunch.
Ironically, Jamaica’s previous highest total in this competition was 563 for nine declared against the same opponents 34 years ago at Jarrett Park in their homeland.
Hinds anchored them to the landmark with resolute batting to finish with 165. He struck 15 fours and one six from 280 balls in just over 6 ½ hours.
Unimaginative batting from the tail-enders ensured that the T&T bowlers would hardly finish with flattering figures, but off-spinner Amit Jaggernauth was the most successful with three for 115 from 47.4 overs.
The start of play was delayed by 15 minutes, following a discussion between matchreferee Hayden Bruce, the elder Ganga, T&T manager Omar Khan, Jamaica captain Tamar Lambert, and Jamaica coach Gus Logie concerning the determination of the qualification rule for the Final in case the match ends in a no-result today.
In the end, it was determined in such a case that the qualifier will be the team which gained more points from the head-to-head clash between the two sides in the league phase, which means that Jamaica are highly favoured in this regard.
Hinds then proceeded to add 75 for the eighth wicket with Andre Russell, who was bowled by West Indies World Cup teammate Ravi Rampaul for 27.
But neither Odean Brown nor Dawes passed 20, as the Jamaicans continued to rub salt into T&T’s wounds.
The home team then ran into early trouble on a dusty pitch, after spending the best part of 2 ½ days in the field.
Dawes bowled Lendl Simmons for five, and then had West Indies batsman Darren Bravo caught at slip for a duck.
Russell tightened Jamaica’s grip, when he trapped Imran lbw for 17 to leave T&T on 28 for three.
But the Jamaicans hit a bump, when the Ganga brothers got together, and gave the T&T innings some backbone with a stand of 83 for the fourth wicket, mixing enterprise with solid defence.
Brought back for a second spell, Russell made the breakthrough, when he had Sherwin caught behind to leave T&T 111 for four.
The Jamaican bowlers again failed to make headway, as Ramdin joined the elder Ganga, and they continued the fight for T&T. They have so far added 87 – unbroken – for the fifth wicket.
The most successful side in the match will contest the Final against the Combined Campuses & Colleges, who beat Windward Islands by 157 yesterday at the Three Ws Oval in Barbados.