West Indies Championship - Keen battles in the making - 2nd day, 7th round
Singh, Johnson lead fight-back for Jaguars against Scorpions; Athanaze falls after propping up Volcanoes against Hurricanes; Feisty Nurse saves Pride from collapse against Red Force
A string of face-saving half-centuries marked play in the West Indies Championship on Friday, as all three matches have shaped up into keen struggles for control.
Leaders and four-time defending champions Guyana Jaguars were under pressure against Jamaica Scorpions, even though Test batsmen Vishaul Singh and Leon Johnson carved out half-centuries to prop up their batting at the Guyana National Stadium on the second day of seventh round matches.
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At the same time – Emerging left-hander Alick Athanaze struck his third half-century of the season, as Windward Islands Volcanoes were engaged in a keen battle against Leeward Islands Hurricanes at Windsor Park.
And, WINDIES international Ashley Nurse gave evidence he could be a key player in the lower order during the upcoming One-day Internationals against England with an enterprising half-century that rescued Barbados Pride from a total batting collapse against Trinidad & Tobago Red Force at Kensington Oval.
Scorpions (358) vs Jaguars 203-5 in Providence, Guyana
Singh led a Jags fightback with 61 and Johnson, his captain, stroked 58, as the pair added 101 for the third wicket to lift the home team from a shaky 62 for three.
Singh struck eight fours from 167 balls in just under 3 ½ hours and Johnson collected seven fours and a six in a 184-ball innings that lasted just over 3 ¾ hours.
Both fell in the final hour to leave the contest delicately poised, and Chris Barnwell, not out on 22, and Raymon Reifer, not out on five, to bat through the last 20 minutes before stumps were drawn.
Earlier, Derval Green converted his overnight unbeaten 59 into 86, as Scorpions were bowled out inside the first hour of play after they resumed from their overnight total of 320 for eight.
Green ended with seven fours and four sixes from 80 balls in a near two-hour stay at the crease before he was caught at slip off Romario Shepherd to bring the Scorpions innings to a close.
Hurricanes (271) vs Volcanoes (225-7) in Roseau, Dominica
Athanaze struck two fours and one six from 108 balls before he fell to the last ball of the day and was the only Volcanoes batsman that crossed 50, as a handful of batsmen got starts without carrying on.
Veteran opener Devon Smith supported with 46, Test batsman Sunil Ambris made 41, Kavem Hodge got 26 and Ray Jordan added 25.
Smith anchored the top half of the batting, putting on 42 for the second wicket with Hodge and a further 57 for the third wicket with Ambris.
Volcanoes however, lost three wickets for 30 and were wobbling on 156 for five before Athanaze came to the crease and led the recovery, sharing 60 for the sixth wicket to leave them within sight of overtaking the Hurricanes first innings total.
Sheno Berridge took 3-38 from 12 overs and off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall grabbed 3-47 from 28 overs to lead the Hurricanes bowling.
Earlier, Hurricanes lost their last five wickets for 42, after resuming on 229 for five with token resistance coming from Cornwall and Quinton Boatswain, both hitting 21.
Jordan with 4-47 from 17.5 overs and left-arm spinner Larry Edward with 4-73 from 37 overs were the most successful Volcanoes bowlers.
Red Force (358) vs Pride 238-7 in Bridgetown, Barbados
Nurse smashed three fours and five sixes in an unbeaten 71 off 80 deliveries and has so far shared 108 – unbroken – for the eighth wicket with Tevyn Walcott, not out on 34.
Pride looked in danger of a collapse at 130 for eight just after tea, after leg-spinner Yannic Cariah snared 4-43 from 16 overs and Ravi Rampaul took 2-26 from 12 overs.
Pride had started strongly with a composed 56 from left-handed opener Shayne Moseley and 45 from rookie Aaron Jones, which carried them to a comfortable 119 for one.
Moseley, whose innings contained seven fours from 149 balls in just over three hours at the crease, and Jones added 95 for the second wicket.
But Cariah transformed the game when he held a return catch to dismiss Jones and trapped Pride captain Jonathan Carter lbw for four in the same over, as the hosts lost six wickets for 11 in the space of 39 deliveries.
Earlier, Red Force, starting the day on 316 for eight, about 35 minutes after play began with Anderson Phillip holding up the Pride briefly to make 22 and Jamaican fast-medium bowler Marquino Mindley taking the last two wickets to end with 5-78 from 20 overs for the hosts.
RESULTS OF MATCHES
Thursday, December 6 to Sunday, December 9
Volcanoes lost to Jaguars by 125 runs – Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St. Lucia
Pride lost to Hurricanes by 34 runs – Three Ws Oval, Barbados
Thursday, December 13 to Sunday, December 16
Pride beat Scorpions by 41 runs – Three Ws Oval
Hurricanes lost to Jaguars by 9 wickets – Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, Antigua
Red Force lost to Volcanoes by 76 runs – Brian Lara Cricket Academy
Friday, January 4 to Monday, January 7
Scorpions lost to Volcanoes by 5 wickets – Sabina Park, Jamaica
Red Force lost to Hurricanes by 245 runs – Brian Lara Cricket Academy
Pride lost to Jaguars by 6 wickets – Kensington Oval, Barbados
Thursday, January 10 to Sunday, January 13
Scorpions lost to Red Force by 157 runs – Sabina Park
Jaguars beat Volcanoes by 8 wickets – Guyana National Stadium, Guyana
Thursday, January 17 to Sunday, January 20
Jaguars lost to Hurricanes by 2 wickets – Guyana National Stadium
Red Force lost to Pride by 7 wickets – Brian Lara Cricket Academy
Volcanoes lost to Scorpions by 4 wickets – National Cricket Stadium, Grenada
Thursday, January 31 to Sunday, February 3
Hurricanes lost to Scorpions by 1 wicket – Warner Park, St. Kitts
Red Force beat Jaguars by 93 runs – Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad
Pride lost to Volcanoes by 8 wickets – Kensington Oval
SCHEDULE OF MATCHES
(All matches start at 10 am daily, except where indicated)
Thursday, March 14 to Sunday, March 17
Red Force vs Scorpions – Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad
Thursday, March 14 to Sunday, March 17
Hurricanes vs Pride – Vivian Richards Cricket Ground
Thursday, February 7 to Sunday, February 10
Jaguars vs Scorpions – Guyana National Stadium
Pride vs Red Force – Kensington Oval
Volcanoes vs Hurricanes – Windsor Park, Dominica
Thursday, February 21 to Sunday, February 24
Hurricanes vs Red Force – Warner Park
Scorpions vs Jaguars – Sabina Park
Volcanoes vs Pride – Arnos Vale Sports Complex, St. Vincent
Thursday, February 28 to Sunday, March 3
Scorpions vs Hurricanes – Sabina Park
Jaguars vs Pride – Guyana National Stadium
Volcanoes vs Red Force – Arnos Vale Sports Complex
Thursday, March 7 to Sunday, March 10
Scorpions vs Pride – Sabina Park
Jaguars vs Red Force – Guyana National Stadium (2 pm start daily)
Hurricanes vs Volcanoes – Vivian Richards Cricket Ground