Palmer, explosive Smith give Scorpions upper hand – 3rd day, 6th round

ODEAN SMITH: smashed an incredible 54 from just 27 balls

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Jamaica Scorpions captain Paul Palmer completed his maiden first-class hundred, but he was upstaged by newcomer Odean Smith, whose sensational, boundary-studded half-century put their side in an impregnable position against Trinidad & Tobago Red Force in the Regional 4-Day Championship yesterday.

Palmer became the second century-maker for his side, gathering a resolute 136, to follow John Campbell’s 156 on the previous day, but it was Smith that captured the headlines, as the Scorpions were bowled out for 535, replying to the Red Force’s first innings total of 243, around an hour before the scheduled close on the third day of their sixth-round match at Sabina Park.

Smith, a former West Indies Under-19 World Cup-winning fast bowler, smashed one four along with an incredible seven sixes in 54 from just 27 balls in just under half-hour to dominate the last two stands of the innings and further frustrate the visitors.

Left-arm fast-medium bowler Daniel St Clair was the most successful Red Force bowler, poached 4-68 from 19 overs, veteran leg-spinner Imran Khan had easily his most forgettable spell in R4Day matches, but still ended with 3-180 from 37 overs, and left-arm spinner Khary Pierre scalped 2-83 from 26 overs.

The Scorpions tightened their grip on the match, when fast bowler Reynard Leveridge had left-handed opener Amir Jangoo caught by Smith in the deep for nine, as the Red Force reached 21 for one when stumps were drawn, still 271 in arrears.

The Red Force bowlers seems to have things under control after the Scorpions resumed from their overnight total of 318 for four – and the pressure seemed to have taken a toll on Fabian Allen and he fell to Khan for 16 in the 11th over of the day.

This brought Aldaine Thomas to the crease and he accompanied Palmer to his landmark in between indulging himself. They added 91 for the sixth wicket either side of lunch before the Scorpions’ wicketkeeper/batsman was lbw to St Clair for a purposeful 49.

This ran into happy hour for the Scorpions, and Palmer and the remaining batsmen carried on merrily, as the Red Force bowlers grew weary from the onslaught.

Derval Green made 25 and with Palmer took the Scorpions past the 450 mark before they were dismissed within five deliveries of each other to leave the home team 476 for eight.

Smith came to the crease and erased any thoughts of a declaration with his big hitting, as the Scorpions got 59 from their last two batting partnerships thanks to him before St Clair came to the Red Force’s rescue and bowled him to bring the innings to a close.

Scorpions – starting the match in third on 55 points – have gained all five batting points after reaching 432 for five at the 110-over threshold, in addition to three bowling points and 1.0 pace bowling point.

Red Force – entering the match second on 61.8 points – have earned just one batting point, one bowling point and 0.8 pace bowling points.

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