Miller, Taylor lead Jamaica’s fight back v CCC
CAVE HILL, Barbados (CMC) – Inspired spells from Nikita Miller and Jerome Taylor led a Jamaica fight-back and intensified their battle against Combined Campuses & Colleges for the last semi-final slot in the Regional Four-Day Championship on Saturday.
Left-arm spinner Miller was the pick of the Jamaican bowlers, capturing five for 31 from 31 miserly overs bowled on the trot, and Taylor supported with three for 40 from 15 overs, as CCC were dismissed for 161 to concede a first innings lead of 21 on the second day of the seventh round match.
Kevin McClean, batting at eight, hit the top score of 36 for the home team, pugnacious opener Shacaya Thomas made 33, Kyle Corbin got 22 and their captain Steven Jacobs added 20, but the rest of the CCC batting failed miserably to put up the resistance required to reinforce the advantage they secured on the opening day.
Jermaine Blackwood was not out on 23 and West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels was not out three, as Jamaica reached 79 for two in their second innings when stumps were drawn at the rain-sprinkled 3Ws Oval for an overall lead of 100.
Left-arm fast-medium bowler Raymon Reifer gave CCC the breakthrough, when he had Nkrumah Bonner caught at second slip to give Corbin his 20th catch of the season, and John Campbell was caught at leg-slip off left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican for 28 in the final half-hour to unsettle the Jamaicans.
With the top three teams – Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados and Windward Islands – having all secured a place in the semi-finals, the last slot has come down to a straight shoot-out between CCC and Jamaica.
Two points separated the two sides before the start of the match and it remained that way following the CCC’s capitulation earlier in the day, which left the contest a virtual second-innings battle for supremacy and the right to meet the first-placed side in the Final Four.
Starting the day on 59 without loss, the CCC had the worst possible start and Jamaica the best, when Taylor bowled Thomas with the very first delivery of the day.
Taylor further set the home team back, when he had Raymon Reifer caught behind for a six-ball duck from a loose drive at the first delivery of his next over, leaving CCC 59 for two.
When the first stoppage for rain occurred, CCC were already on the ropes on 70 for four, after Miller had Corbin caught behind and trapped wicketkeeper/batsman Chadwick Walton lbw for seven.
Following the interruption, veteran left-hander Floyd Reifer was lbw to Miller for 11 playing back and across and Akeem Dewar was spectacularly beaten and bowled for six by an in-swinging delivery from Sheldon Cottrell, as the hosts sunk to 106 for six at lunch.
After the interval, McClean, a lanky left-hander, led the resistance in between showers, but the CCC could not put together any significant partnerships in the tail to place the Jamaican first innings total under any serious threat.
Miller continued to wheel away and tightened the noose, adding the scalps of Jacobs, Warrican and rookie Paul Palmer, before McClean was run out going for a second run to bring the curtains down on the CCC innings about 40 minutes before the re-scheduled tea break.
Jamaica – based on history, if not current form – are heavily favoured to win, having never been beaten by the CCC in the Regional Four-Day tournament in any of the eight matches that they have played previously.
They have also won every time they have played in this tournament at this venue in the past.