NORTH SOUND, Antigua, CMC – Andre Russell’s unbeaten hundred proved the difference as Jamaica Scorpions trounced English county Kent by three wickets, to go top of Group B in the Regional Super50 here Wednesday.
Chasing a competitive 240 for victory at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, Scorpions reached their target with five balls to spare, with the right-handed Russell ending on 108 not out off 111 deliveries.
Brandon King chipped in with 43 in a 76-run, sixth wicket stand with Russell which pulled Scorpions out of trouble at 57 for five in the 15th over.
Opener Daniel Bell-Drummond had earlier struck an unbeaten 105 as Kent, sent in, raised 239 for five off their allotted 50 overs.
Wicketkeeper/batsman Adam Rouse stroked 75 not out but the remainder of the visitors’ batting failed to come to grips with the Scorpions attack.
Fabian Allen finished with two for 35 from his 10 overs while fellow left-arm spinner Chris Lamont, who bowled the new ball, conceded only 27 runs in a stingy 10-over spell.
Kent lost Zak Crawley for one in the fourth over but Bell-Drummond then added 54 for the second wicket with Sean Dickson (11), to repair the damage.
When Dickson and Joe Denly (1) fell with four runs added to leave Kent 61 for three in the 21st over, Drummond combined with Alex Blake (14) in a 37-run, fourth wicket partnership to revive the innings yet again.
Blake and Will Gidman (3) perished in the space of seven balls leaving Kent to rebuild yet again, and this time Bell-Drummond found a more reliable partner in Rouse to execute the job in an unbroken 135-run, sixth wicket partnership.
Bell-Drummond, short of runs in the tournament, faced 146 deliveries and counted five fours and a six while Rouse was more aggressive, smashing five fours and four sixes in a 68-ball knock.
Scorpions found their run chase quickly in turmoil as leg-spinner Joe Denly (3-53) crippled the top order with critical strikes.
Left-hander Steven Taylor was caught at the wicket without scoring off the fourth ball of the innings from seamer Ivan Thomas, with a single run on the board.
Chadwick Walton, fresh off a career-best hundred three days ago, again looked in good touch with 22 off 24 balls, which included three fours and a six.
But he was one of four wickets to tumble for 29 runs, leaving Scorpions in need of something special.
That effort came through Russell’s enterprise as the aggressive West Indies all-rounder blasted half-dozen fours and eight sixes to take command of the innings in scoring his second List A hundred.
His first fifty was measured, coming from 74 balls but he upped the tempo for his second to reach his hundred off only another 33 deliveries.
However, Russell dominated a 71-run seventh wicket partnership with Peat Salmon (19) as Scorpions flourished late on.