Khan inspires Red Force as losing slump ends with big win

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Leg-spinner Imran Khan emerged the hero as Trinidad and Tobago Red Force halted a four-game losing slump by crushing Jamaica Franchise by 179 runs inside three days here yesterday.

Set 357 for victory at Sabina Park, Jamaica tumbled from a position of 128 for one to 177 all out, losing their last nine wickets for a mere 49 runs.

The hosts looked to be in control of the WICB PCL seventh round encounter when opener John Campbell, who struck 83, and Test batsman Jermaine Blackwood, 52, were carving out attractive half-centuries in a 77-run, second wicket stand. Khan intervened, however, snatching six for 24 to destroy the innings, as the last five Jamaica wickets fell for no addition of runs at 177. The right-armer, voted Man-of-the-Match, sparked the collapse by taking four wickets in one over to leave Jamaica in disarray.

The result gave Red Force their first taste of victory since last November when they defeated Leeward Islands Hurricanes by six wickets at Warner Park.

Kjorn Ottley had earlier fallen agonisingly short of his maiden first class hundred when he was dismissed for 99 as Red Force, resuming on 184 for four, were bowled out for 246 in their second innings.

The left-handed Ottley, unbeaten on 87 overnight, added just 12 before he became fast bowler Jason Dawes’ only wicket of the innings, seventh out with the score on 220.

All told, he faced 173 balls in 230 minutes and counted 15 fours and two sixes. He was part of a slide that saw the last six Red Force wickets fall for just 50 runs.

Leg-spinner Odean Brown (3-37) and seamer David Bernard Jr (3-49) picked up three wickets apiece.

Jamaica were then given a rousing start from Campbell who put on 51 off 44 balls with Horace Miller (8) for the first wicket.

When Miller was bowled by pacer Marlon Richards in the eighth over of the innings, it paved the way for another enterprising stand between Campbell and Blackwood.

The left-handed Campbell faced just 70 balls and thumped 12 fours and two sixes while Blackwood, a right-hander, counted five fours and a six off 75 deliveries.

Jason Mohammed, bowling his part-time off-spin, got the crucial breakthrough when he claimed Campbell lbw. His scalp proved decisive as three wickets fell quickly for 17 runs.

Blackwood and Brandon King, who hit 20, revived the innings in a 27-run, fifth wicket partnership but once Blackwood departed bowled by Khan, a shocking collapse ensued.

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