Cricket

Classy Palmer slams maiden ton to prod Scorpions

BY SANJAY MYERS
Senior staff reporter
myerss@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, December 10, 2017

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Captain Paul Palmer stroked his way to a classy, maiden first-class hundred to keep Jamaica Scorpions in total control of the sixth-round regional four-day match against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force entering today's final day at Sabina Park.

But the Scorpions will have an eye out for possible showers after rain truncated play yesterday, making only 56 overs possible.

When bad light forced the umpires to call off proceedings last afternoon at 4:42 after two prior rain interruptions, the Red Force were 21-1 in their second innings — still 271 runs from avoiding an innings defeat.

The not out batsmen for the Red Force are left-hand opener Jeremy Solozano and Yannic Cariah, on eight and nought, respectively. Wicketkeeper/batsman Amir Jangoo was the man dismissed, succumbing to a short delivery from fast bowler Reynard Leveridge.

Before the rain and the gloom, the 25-year-old left-hander Palmer, playing his 19th first-class match, skipped confidently to 136 on a pitch that remains good for batting. His knock pushed the Scorpions to a mammoth 535 all out in their first-innings reply to the Red Force's 243.

Also of note for the Scorpions was an extraordinary 19-ball fifty from the young debutante Odean Smith that gave the innings late impetus.

Scores: Red Force 243 (82.5 ovs) & 21-1 (8 ovs); Scorpions 535 (126 ovs).

Palmer's century was the second of the Scorpions' innings after left-hand opener John Campbell was out for 156 on Friday.

The Red Force left-arm seamer Daniel St Clair, 29, was best bowler with 4-67 off 19 overs, while leg spinner Imran Khan bowled a marathon 37 overs to end with 3-180.

Yesterday, the Scorpions had resumed from their overnight score of 318-4 with Palmer on 68 and Fabian Allen on seven.

The two stretched their fifth-wicket partnership to 65 runs before Allen, who hit consecutive centuries in his two previous four-day outings, drove loosely at a big-turning delivery from leg spinner Imran Khan and was caught at slip by the Red Force skipper Denesh Ramdin. He made only 16 — a rare failure this season.

Palmer continued where he left off from day two with good use of his feet, particularly against the spinners. He chipped away merrily until he reached into his nineties where he displayed moments of anxiety.

But on 99, he unfurled an elegant straight drive for four past the feet of the bowler Khan that took him to the landmark. He leapt and fist-pumped in celebration as teammates cheered from the pavilion.

At the other end, wicketkeeper Aldane Thomas, who turned 23 yesterday, played positively to a score of 49, but after lunch he went leg before wicket to a delivery that darted into the right-hander from the left-armer St Clair. Thomas and Palmer added 91 for the sixth wicket.

Derval Green contributed a quick-fire 25 before being dismissed, and Palmer was sent off to the pavilion soon after when he went back to cut off-spinner Bryan Charles and dragged onto his stumps.

He hit 12 fours and a six off 234 deliveries.

Damion Jacobs (five) was bowled by Khan, but a swashbuckling innings from Smith gave the handful of spectators a preview of his hitting power.

The robustly built former West Indies Under-19 player, who batted at number 10, hit the first ball he faced — off Charles — in first-class cricket for six. And a half-dozen more of those followed off the 21-year-old's blade as he battered the Red Force into submission. The last of his maximums — off Khan — brought him to fifty.

As light faded quickly, the hosts had just enough time to nick a wicket when Jangoo mistimed a pull and was caught at square leg by Smith off Leveridge.

Scoreboard

RED FORCE 1st Innings 243

SCORPIONS 1st Innings

(overnight 318 for four)

J Campbell c Webster b Khan 156

T Griffith c Ramdin b St Clair 4

A Fudadin lbw b St Clair 0

B King c Ramdin b Pierre 63

*P Palmer b Charles 136

F Allen c Ramdin b Khan 16

+A Thomas lbw b St Clair 49

D Green c Ramdin b Pierre 25

D Jacobs b Khan 5

O Smith b St Clair 54

R Leveridge not out 0

Extras (b2, lb9, w2, nb14) 27

TOTAL (all out, 126 overs) 535

Fall of wickets: 1-32, 2-36, 3-193, 4-282, 5-347, 6-438, 7-476, 8-476, 9-515

Bowling: Primus 15-2-78-0 (nb7, w2); St Clair 19-5-67-4 (nb6); Charles 25-4-93-1; Khan 37-3-180-3; Webster 4-0-23-0 (nb1); Pierre 26-2-83-2

RED FORCE 2nd Innings

+A Jangoo c Smith b Leveridge 9

J Solozano not out 8

Y Cariah not out 0

Extras (b4) 4

TOTAL (1 wkt, 8 overs) 21

Fall of wickets: 1-21

Bowling: Green 4-0-13-0; Leveridge 4-3-4-1

Position: Red Force trail by 271 with nine second innings wickets standing

Umpires: J Williams, G Brathwaite (Barbados)

Match Referee: D Hayles

Reserve Umpire: R Samuels

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