ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – Jamaica Scorpions easily brushed side USA Cricket by 98 runs here Tuesday night, to break out of their slump with their first win of the Regional Super50.
Without a victory in their first two encounters, Scorpions capitalised on perhaps the weakest side in Group B to claim their first major points.
Batting first in the day/night affair at the Coolidge Cricket Ground, Scorpions raised a competitive 254 for eight off their 50 overs, with captain Nikita Miller top-scoring with 52 not out off 41 balls.
Andre McCarthy struck 38, Odean Smith got an unbeaten 30 while Fabian Allen chipped in with 28. In reply, opener Sunny Sohal gathered 67 and captain Ibraheem Khaleel, 37, but the remainder of the USA’s batting flopped to leave Scorpions with a relatively straightforward result.
Left-arm spinners Chris Lamont (2-20) and Nikita Miller (2-27), along with seamers Andre Russell (2-20) and Odean Smith (2-39), all finished with two wickets each.
Opting for first knock, Scorpions had an uncertain start, slipping to 85 for four in the 22nd over, after losing key wickets.
Chadwick Walton produced a cameo, lashing 25 from from 18 balls with three fours and a six, in putting on 34 for the first wicket with Steven Taylor (22), before falling to pace Elmore Hutchinson (3-40).
Taylor then combined with West Indies all-rounder Rovman Powell (20) to add 41 for the second wicket before the innings stuttered as Scorpions lost three quick wickets for 10 runs.
Two crucial partnerships then kept Scorpions afloat. Firstly, McCarthy put on 62 for the fifth wicket with Allen, striking six fours and a six in a breezy 48-ball knock.
Allen was equally brisk, striking three fours and a six off 35 balls but he and McCarthy fell in successive deliveries to left-arm spinner Nisarg Patel (2-44), and when Peal Salmon perished for three and Andre Russell, 17, Scorpions were tottering on 169 for eight in the 40th over.
Miller came to his side’s rescue, however, stroking a career-best knock to engineer a vital 85-run ninth wicket stand with Smith, to put Scorpions in a position of strength.
The right-handed Miller faced 41 balls and counted four fours and a six while Smith clobbered a four and a six in a 32-ball innings.
USA were immediately in trouble in their run chase, slumping to 25 for three in the 13th over after Lamont struck twice in successive deliveries.
Sohal, who faced 111 deliveries and counted six fours and a six, then anchored an 83-run fourth wicket stand with Khaleel whose knock required 75 deliveries and contained just two fours.
But the partnership was a sluggish one using up 137 deliveries and when it was broken, USA were drifting at 108 for four in the 36th over.
Wickets then fell steadily – the last seven tumbling for 48 runs – to deliver Scorpions easy points.