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Advantage Barbados

Jamaica’s cricketers toil on 1st day

BY SANJAY MYERS Observer staff reporter myerss@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, March 29, 2014    

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KIRK Edwards struck a century as reigning champions Barbados batted the whole of yesterday and closed on an encouraging 275-6 against Jamaica in the fifth-round Regional Four-day match at Sabina Park in Kingston.

The 29-year-old Edwards, who has played 12 Test matches for the West Indies, rode his luck at times in scoring a combative 105 from 175 balls for his ninth first-class century.

Wicketkeeper/batsman Shane Dowrich and pace bowling all-rounder Jason Holder, who shared in an undefeated seventh-wicket stand of 40 runs, will resume on 40 and 18, respectively, when play starts at 10:00 am today.

Left-arm orthodox slow bowler Nikita Miller toiled hard for 3-73 off 28 overs on a slow and placid batting surface.

Score: Barbados 275-6 (92 overs).

Jamaica captain Tamar Lambert conceded it was a "tough day" and credited the number three batsman Edwards for playing "pretty well" after surviving a dropped chance on 26.

Earlier, Jamaica won the toss and opted to bowl first in overcast conditions in the morning, and the decision seemed the right one as pacer Jerome Taylor trapped left-handed opener Omar Phillips leg-before-wicket in the day's first over.

Taylor's opening bowling partner, the naggingly accurate Brian Buchanan, hit the outside edge of Edwards' bat soon after, but the ball flew at a comfortable catching height safely through the gap between the man at third slip and the gully fielder.

Edwards had an even closer scare moments later when Nkrumah Bonner, filling in for regular second slip fielder John Campbell, who was temporarily off the field, dived low to his left, but floored the chance after seamer David Bernard induced an edge from a delivery that pitched outside off stump and held its line.

Captain and opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite (29) added 89 with Edwards, as bright sunshine and fairly windy conditions reigned supreme.

However, Brathwaite edged a full-pitched Miller delivery to Campbell at slip during the first over after the lunch interval.

Next entered Jonathan Carter and the 26-year-old left-hander unleashed a few exquisite shots along the turf on both sides of the wicket until he unwisely went the aerial route against Miller and was caught at mid-on by Bernard.

At the other end, Edwards, though lacking the regal strokeplay of Carter, played to his strength, regularly tugging deliveries from outside off stump and dispatching them through the onside to frustrate the quicker bowlers.

The right-hander, who has two Test centuries under his belt, employed equally effective tactics against the spinners, often times playing lofted drives down the ground or sweeping powerfully through the leg side.

He arrived at his century when he hammered the 160th ball he faced straight back over the head of Miller and across the boundary ropes.

Edwards added a further five runs before Bonner, bowling his part-time leg-spin, made amends by forcing the batsman into driving in the air to Jon-Ross Campbell at cover at 176-5. Edwards struck 10 boundaries and four sixes.

The 22-year-old Dowrich, who was neat and compact in his stroke play, put on a further 59 for the sixth-wicket with all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite before the latter was trapped lbw by Buchanan, who was getting consistent inswing with the old ball.

But by late in the day, Dowrich and Holder were picking off singles at will in a comfortable partnership that left the Jamaicans looking deflated and tired.

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