Blackwood, Campbell hand Scorpions initiative

Opener John Campbell … got among the runs with 56.

KINGSTON, Jamaica,  CMC – Test batsman Jermaine Blackwood confirmed his return to form with his second half-century of the match, as Jamaica Scorpions took the initiative over Leeward Islands Hurricanes in their ninth round clash here yesterday.

The right-hander, who top-scored with 81 in the hosts’ first innings on Thursday’s opening day at Sabina Park, returned with another fiery 70 as his side reached 182 for seven at the close.

Left-handed opener John Campbell hammered 55 and all-rounder Fabian Allen chimed in with 24 but Scorpions squandered much of their advantage after slipping from a strong position of 138 for three.

Seamer Sheno Berridge (2-44) and off-spinner Chaim Holder (2-51) picked up two wickets apiece to lead the Hurricanes bowling.

The visitors had earlier scrapped it out, converting their precarious overnight position of 60 for four into 171 all out in their first innings.

Keacy Carty, unbeaten on 20 at the start, top-scored with 78 while his overnight partner, wicketkeeper Jahmar Hamilton, supported with 40.

The right-handed Carty stroked six fours and a six in a 211-ball knock, anchoring two key stands to get Hurricanes close to their target.

First, he extended his fifth wicket stand with Hamilton to 67 before inspiring a 44-run, eighth wicket partnership with Mervin Mathew (18). Hurricanes then lost three wickets for 30 runs to crash to 125 for seven.

Leg-spinner Damion Jacobs was outstanding, picking up his 12th five-wicket haul in first class cricket as he finished with seven for 74, while captain and left-arm spinner Nikita Miller supported with two for 32.

Armed with a lead of 28 runs, Scorpions’ second innings started uncertainly when Assad Fudadin fell without scoring with the score on 22 and Chadwick Walton departed for five at 54 for two.

Blackwood then joined with Campbell to add 41 for the third wicket before combining with Paul Palmer (13) in a 43-run fourth wicket partnership.

All told, Blackwood struck eight fours and a six in a 97-ball innings while Campbell produced a cameo, facing a mere 48 deliveries and counting seven fours and a six.

Once Palmer was dismissed, the Scorpions innings declined, as four wickets went down for 43 runs.

Scorpions lead by 210 runs with two days remaining in the contest.

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