Pride pacers bring match to life, rattle Scorpions top order – 2nd day, 10th round

Barbados Pride batsman Keon Harding appeals successfully for Jamaica Scorpions batsman Andre McCarthy lbw on the second day of the Regional 4-Day Championship match on Friday at Kensington Oval. (Photo by Kerrie Eversley)

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Jan 19, CMC – Barbados Pride pace quartet of Chemar Holder, Keon Harding, Justin Greaves and Dominic Drakes brought to life a pedestrian day with hostile bowling in the final hour to put Jamaica Scorpions on the back-foot in the Regional 4-Day Championship on Friday here.

Extracting pace and bounce from the hard, true Kensington Oval pitch, the quarter rattled the Scorpions’ top order, claiming the prized scalp of West Indies batsman Jermaine Blackwood, and reduced the visitors to 93 for three, replying to Pride’s first innings total of 427, at the close on the second day of their 10th and final round match.

This followed close to five hours of dour play from the Pride batting which featured a career-best 166 from their captain Shamarh Brooks before they were bowled out about half-hour after tea.

No other Pride batsman reached 50, but overnight batsman Jonathan Carter made 36 and left-hander Drakes, batting at eight, hit a brisk 33.

Scorpions’ batsmen approached their task with typical flair, but this hardly deterred the young Pride quartet and cheered on by the modest, but enthusiastic crowd they reaped rewards.

Holder made the breakthrough, when John Campbell was caught off the top edge for 16 by wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich, running to gully, from a miscued pull at a short ball.

Three overs later, Andre McCarthy was caught behind for three off Harding for three to leave Scorpions 38 for two.

Blackwood came to the crease and gave as good as he got from the pacers. He collected three boundaries from the first four deliveries he faced – all from Harding – and followed up with three more two overs later, debutant Drakes’ first.

Walton, who has played club matches in recent years here, kept his end going with a few meaty strokes of his own, including a rasping straight drive off Holder.

But the pacers kept coming and continued to beat the bat, hit the batsman’s pad and every now again produced the nasty rising delivery and Blackwood’s never-back-down attitude proved his undoing, when he tried flat bat Greaves and was bowled off a thick inside edge for 39.

With the shadows steadily encroaching, umpires Leslie Reifer Jr and Mike Burns offered Walton, not out on 26, and Paul Palmer, not out on nought, a reprieve, offering them light with 2.2 overs remaining.

Earlier, Pride, starting the day on 261 for two, batted inexplicably cautiously, reaching 299 for four at lunch and failing to earn more batting points before the 110-over cut-off mark.

They lost Carter lbw playing defensively on the back-foot in the first half-hour before West Indies batsman Roston Chase was lbw for 10 offering no stroke to Marquino Mindley.

After the interval, the tempo increased a bit, but Dowrich was caught down the leg-side off Green for 12 in the sixth over.

Justin Greaves was caught at slip off left-arm spinner Nikita Miller, the Scorpions captain, and the pattern continued until Brooks was lbw to Campbell after batting for close to 8 ½ hours, facing 357 balls and striking 19 fours.

A few meaty blows from Drakes carried Pride past the 400-run mark before the tail-end eventually succumbed.

Pride entered the match second in the table on 94.6 points and have so far earned two batting points, one bowling point and 0.6 pace bowling points, while Scorpions, starting third on 91 points, have so far gained no points.

CMC tm/17

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