Campbell ton spearheads Scorpions fightback against Volcanoes

Campbell ton spearheads Scorpions fightback against Volcanoes

Sunday, January 19, 2020

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CAPTAIN John Campbell hit a level-headed century yesterday to spearhead a superlative fightback by Jamaica Scorpions in the Regional Four-Day cricket match versus Windward Islands Volcanoes at Sabina Park in Kingston.

Entering today's final day the Scorpions are 291-3 in their second innings, a lead of 124 runs with seven wickets in hand after being forced to follow on two matches in a row.

Scores: Volcanoes 387 (113.3 overs); Scorpions 220 (69.2 overs) & 291-3 (82 overs)

The 26-year-old left-handed opener Campbell, the West Indies Test batsman, struck 101 to repel the Volcanoes while registering his fourth first-class hundred.

Blackwood, 28, also curbed his attacking instincts to hit 76, his 36th half-century at first class level.

Nkrumah Bonner, on 40, and the in-form left-hander Paul Palmer, on 37, are the not out batsmen set to continue today.

The pair has added 80 runs for the fourth wicket, heaping more frustration on the Volcanoes after they decided to bowl back-to-back in fierce sunshine on a pitch which, despite the odd ball keeping a bit low, remained good for batting.

The Scorpions picked up their first innings yesterday morning on 203-7, with Derval Green not out on 50 and Marquino Mindley on 13.

But they were tumbled over for 220 inside the opening half an hour, and left with a deficit of 167 runs.

Mindley (18) and Nicholson Gordon (zero) went quickly, while Green was last man out when he tried to hoist a six off left-arm pacer Preston McSween but was instead caught on the long-on boundary. Green made an 88-ball 62 which included eight fours.

Heartened by their dominant position, the Volcanoes opted to enforce the follow on.

They had an early reward when left-hander Assad Fudadin went for nine, loosely driving a ball from veteran off-spinner Shillingford for the diving Sunil Ambris to pluck a sharp, low catch to his left at short cover.

But aside from that dismissal the Scorpions looked comfortable all the way to lunch at 46-1.

While going on to piece together a second-wicket stand of 155 runs, Campbell and Blackwood picked their moments as they thwarted the Volcanoes.

Campbell, who was the more fluent of the two, reached 50 with a sumptuous, flowing cover drive for four off pacer Sherman Lewis.

On 90, the left-handed batsman was given a reprieve. Wicketkeeper Emmanuel Stewart failed to hold onto a sharp chance when Shillingford's delivery found the edge.

At the other end Blackwood restrained himself, but every so often he showed aggressive intent.

He brought up his half-century via a single down the ground off Shillingford.

Arguably, his finest shot of the day was a wristy back foot shot off left-arm spinner Kavem Hodge that raced along the carpet to the straight midwicket boundary.

Campbell arrived at his first hundred as the Scorpions four-day captain when he crunched a Shillingford delivery over midwicket for four.

The Scorpions went to tea at 185-1, but Campbell and Blackwood both fell upon the resumption.

Campbell was bowled leg stump behind his back by pacer Josh Thomas. He thrashed nine fours and two sixes off 157 deliveries.

Blackwood also fell to the hardworking Thomas, nicking a catch to the diving wicketkeeper Stewart when he attempted a back foot punch. His knock came off 141 balls and included eight fours and a six.

Any chance of a late-afternoon collapse was averted by the Palmer and Bonner partnership as the Scorpions displayed the kind of grit which enabled them to draw last week's first-round match, which was dominated by hosts Trinidad and Tobago Red Force.

Thomas led the Volcanoes attack with 2-37, while Shillingford, the former West Indies player, has claimed 1-99.

— Sanjay Myers

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