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Scorpions stung

Smith leads Barbados Pride to crucial victory

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago –– In a must-win encounter Barbados Pride defeated Jamaica Scorpions by 73 runs in their fifth and penultimate round Group ‘A’ match of the West Indies Cricket Board’s NAGICO Super50 Championship at the National Cricket Centre today.

Batting first after being sent in, the Barbados Pride made 246 for 9 in their 50 overs. In response the Scorpions were bundled out for 173 in the 47th over.

Dwayne Smith hits out during his important innings.

Dwayne Smith hits out during his important innings.

Once again the Barbados Pride were off to a poor start  losing their batting mainstay Kraigg Brathwaite in the third over when he edged West Indies fast bowler Jerome Taylor to wicketkeeper Aldaine Thomas for one with the score on nine.

West Indies batsman Shai Hope joined Dwayne Smith who has been struggling in the tournament so far and these two took the score to 33 before Hope fell for four, caught behind by Thomas off Taylor’s bowling. At the other end Smith was gradually getting into his stride with a number of powerful strokes.

He and Jonathan Carter advanced the score to 66 with little bother. But in the 16th over Barbados Pride would lose the wicket of Carter for 16 via the run-out route after a mix-up with his partner.

Smith continued to do the bulk of the scoring and reached a well deserved half-century off the 66th delivery he faced, during which he struck seven boundaries. H received a life on 70 when Taylor dropped a catch at long-on off the bowling of off-spinner Andre McCarthy.

The chance did not cost the Scorpions too heavily, though. In the 30th over he attempted one aerial stroke too many and offered Jermaine Harrison a catch at deep midwicket off the bowling of leg-spinner Damian Jacobs to leave the Pride still in a dicey position at 132 for 4. Smith’s 86 came off 101 balls and he counted 10 boundaries during his Man-of-the-Match innings.

Shamarh Brooks, who had added 66 runs with Smith, was the next to return to the pavilion. The stylish right-hander has been getting handy starts without going on and once again after reaching 20 he hit a long hop from Scorpions’ captain John Campbell to Taylor in the 31st over.

All the while wicketkeeper/batsman  Shane Dowrich again looked accomplished at the crease and together with captain Jason Holder took the score to 179 in a 41-run partnership. He would lose captain Holder when the lanky all-rounder failed to clear deep mid-wicket and gave a catch to McCarthy off Campbell’s bowling.

Campbell would strike again in the 41st over when Carlos Brathwaite’s aggressiveness brought about his demise. His attempted heave only got as far as Sheldon Cotterrell at long-on to leave the Barbados Pride on 184 for 7.

After steering the Pride’s lower order Dowrich missed out on a deserved half-century when on 48 he was run out in the 46th over as he tried to increase the scoring momentum. He faced 56 balls during his knock and hit two boundaries and a six.

Dowrich’s departure made the score 220 for 8 and they reached their eventual score thanks to unbeaten contributions of 23 from Ashley Nurse and 15 from Sulieman Benn.

In response Scorpions got off to an enterprising start with Campbell playing in a very attacking vein in partnership with Jermaine Harrison. The Jamaica captain blasted five boundaries as Scorpions reached 63 in the 9th over. However, with his score on 42 Campbell was drawn out of his crease by an excellent delivery from off-spinner Nurse and Dowrich brought off a swift stumping.

Three overs later West Indies middle order batsman Jermaine Blackwood’s miserable form continued from the Australian tour when he was bowled on the drive by Nurse for 2 with the score now 70 for 2. That soon became 76 for 3 when Harrison, on 22, pulled a short delivery from Benn to long-on where Brooks took a well judged catch.

Number five batsman Devon Thomas was next to go in the 26th over. His was one of three wickets for underrated medium pacer Carter. With the score on 116 and his personal tally 17, Thomas had his stumps breached by the nippy Carter.

Jamaica Scorpions continued to lose wickets steadily and left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican dealt them a major blow when he accounted for McCarthy. The promising strokemaker has been the Jamaica team’s best batsman over the past months and when he had reached 33 he attempted a slog sweep and was bowled to basically end his team’s run chase.

McCarthy’s scalp made the score 128 for 6 and though there were double-figure contributions from rotund former captain Tamar Lambert, Taylor and Cotterrell, the Pride duly wrapped up the innings.

Carter ended with 3 for 26 in his 10 overs, Warrican had 3 for 32 in 10 overs, while Benn (2 for 26) and Nurse (2 for 36) completed the demolition job.

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