NORTH SOUND, Antigua, CMC – Jamaica Scorpions suffered their second straight defeat of the Regional Super50 here yesterday, when they crashed to a disappointing four-wicket defeat at the hands of English County Kent.
Let down by their powerful batting lineup, Scorpions were dismissed for 156 in the 42nd over, with only Andre McCarthy resisting with a top score of 76 off 86 deliveries.
Seamer Ivan Thomas (4-30) and leg-spinner Joe Denly (4-35) claimed four wickets apiece as Scorpions started poorly and never recovered.
In reply, Kent were staring down the barrel at 25 for four in the 10th over before left-hander Alex Blake rescued the run chase with an unbeaten 74, to see them home in the 44th over.
Drama unfolded from the very first delivery of the opening over when left-arm spinner Chris Lamont trapped Daniel Bell-Drummond lbw without a run on the board.
Three balls later, Sean Dickson was run out for one and when pacer Andre Russell bowled opener Zak Crawley in the next over, also without scoring, Kent were in strife on six runs for three wickets.
Off-spinner Peat Salmon, who made his debut in last Friday’s defeat to Leeward Islands Hurricanes, bowled captain Will Gidman in the 10th over for 11 and fast bowler Oshane Thomas had Denly caught at the wicket for 17, to leave the innings in tatters at 47 for five in the 15th over.
But Blake came to his side’s aid, stroking 10 fours in a fluent innings that lasted 105 balls. More importantly, he anchored a key 72-run, sixth wicket stand with wicketkeeper Adam Rouse, who made 28, to revive Kent and put them on course for victory.
Rouse departed in the 36th over but Blake kept things steady by adding a further 40 with Callum Haggett (10 not out) in an unbroken seventh wicket partnership.
Earlier electing to bat first at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, Scorpions lost a cluster of wickets inside the first 15 overs, to concede the early advantage.
Openers Chadwick Walton (1) and Chris Gayle (3) fell in successive overs to leave Scorpions on seven for two in the fourth over, and another five wickets fell for 57 runs, as last year’s losing finalists collapsed to 86 for seven in the 21st over.
McCarthy, however, stepped up to produce a face-saving knock, striking 13 boundaries as he put on 49 for the eighth wicket with captain Nikita Miller (16).
The right-handed McCarthy was eventually eighth out in the 35th over, bowled by seamer Haggett.