Sport

Melbourne dethrone Manchester for Senior Cup

BY SANJAY MYERS Observer staff reporter

Monday, July 23, 2012    

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Melbourne CC won their first Senior Cup crown since 2001 after taking first innings honours in a drawn encounter against perennial winners Manchester CA in yesterday's final at the Chedwin Park ground in St Catherine.

After inching to a narrow first innings lead and eventually being set a target of 213, Melbourne took few risks in reaching 132-2 when the match was called off almost an hour earlier than the scheduled 6:00 pm close.

Scores: Manchester 203 and 225-9 declared; Melbourne 216 and 132-2.

Melbourne's opener Jon Ross Campbell batted with the solidity of a man on a mission in his 72-ball 63 not out before onlookers were left surprised when both teams agreed to end proceedings prematurely.

Campbell, who struck eight fours and two powerful sixes, said winning his maiden two-day Senior Cup title made the occasion extra special.

"I was disappointed with how I got out first innings. I went out today (yesterday) and I executed and did what the team needed. It is always a good feeling to win any Cup and it is sweeter being the first time and especially in the year of Jamaica 50 Celebrations," the 22-year-old told the Jamaica Observer.

Resuming from their overnight 133-3 in search of the 204 needed to take first innings advantage, the Melbourne team collapsed to 186-9 before the last pair of Sadiki Bolt (13) and Christopher Lamont (22 not out) added 30 runs to rescue the situation.

Tareque White, who started the day on 82, added only six runs before he was trapped LBW to left-arm spinner David Powell. The hard-hitting White faced 194 balls and smashed six fours and three sixes.

Middle-order batsman Tafari Williams contributed 28, while captain Nikita Miller chipped in with 21.

Powell was the top bowler with 5-59 off 27 overs, while off-spinner Jamie Merchant captured 4-58 off 39. Left-arm wrist-spinner Andre Dwyer took 1-65 off 14 overs and five balls.

Manchester, who had won three titles in a row heading into this year's final, hunted quick runs to get back in the game but were stunningly reduced to 71-7 before opener Zeniffe Fowler (64) and Donovan Sinclair (94) combined for an equally sensational and thumping 113-run eighth wicket stand to set Melbourne a challenging target.

Sinclair, who batted at number nine due to a thigh injury, was particularly destructive from the first ball he faced and reeled off a series of breathtaking lofted drives down the ground that left the Melbourne bowlers demoralised.

The talented 26-year-old batsman creamed no less than nine sixes — most of which ended outside the park — and caressed half a dozen boundaries off 48 deliveries, as match officials were kept busy replacing lost balls.

At the other end, Fowler was at his elegant best in hitting three sixes and as many fours off only 61 deliveries before he was the eighth man dismissed.

Sinclair fell six runs short of a century when he was adjudged to have gloved an attempted reverse sweep shot to wicketkeeper Garfield Moore off the bowling of left-arm spinner Christopher Lamont.

Lamont snatched 5-45 off nine overs and five balls. Leg-spinner Damion Jacobs, who starred in the first innings with six wickets, could only muster 2-54 off five overs to end as the competition's top wicket-taker with 59 victims.

National left-arm spinner Nikita Miller did not escape Sinclair's onslaught and was carted for 1-40 off only four overs.

The declaration came immediately after Sinclair's demise as Manchester sought an unlikely come-from-behind win but Melbourne's Campbell, White (28), Jacobs (19) all batted patiently to seal the title.

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