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Excelsior take charge of GraceKennedy Shield against Innswood

By Gerald Reid
Observer writer

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

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Excelsior High gained the upper hand against defending champions Innswood High on the first day of their three-day 2019 Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) GraceKennedy Shield, Urban Area, cricket final at Melbourne Oval yesterday.

Scores at the close: Excelsior High School 285 all out off 78 overs, Innswood 90 for nine wickets.

Excelsior's coach Kirkland Bailey is looking to wrap up the Innswood innings as early as possible today, and hopes that his batsmen stay at the crease to play the opposition out of the game.

“I would like to get the last wicket very early tomorrow (this) morning and score as many runs in the second innings to play them out of the game. I only need the batsmen to stay at the crease and pile up the runs, but you cannot be complacent.”

Meanwhile, Innswood coach Kirk Gordon said it will be a very hard task to overhaul Excelsior's score, as his team will have to restrict them in their second innings with two days remaining in the match.

“We could have limited Excelsior to a much lower score but the players dropped too many catches. The wicket is also a little under-prepared but we will be going all out to win and retain our title,” he said.

Excelsior won the toss and elected to bat and got off to flying start, as openers Kirk McKenzie 27 (three fours and a six), and Akeem Malcolm, who scored 50 runs including five fours and two sixes, pushed the score past the 50-run mark without losing a wicket off 10 overs.

However, the partnership was broken at 58 when McKenzie went, caught off the bowling of Kevin Peterson. Brandon English and Malcolm added a further 50-run, second-wicket partnership before the latter went with the score on 108.

English went with the score on 138, for 27 (three fours), and then three wickets fell for five runs, with captain Raewin Senior brilliantly caught low down at point by Gimalli McPherson at 222, Kimani Wilson 38 (six fours) also at 222, and Norris Tenn at 227 for five wickets.

The lower order batsmen did not put up much resistance as only Shemar Davis with 31 (three sixes and one four), and Rohan Beadle (14) making any meaningful contributing.

Left-arm spinner Kevin Peterson captured five wickets for 75 runs off 32.1 overs, while right-arm off spinner Dwayne Sinclair took two for six runs off two overs, right-arm off spinner Oneil Weir took two for 72 runs off 20 overs, and Carlos Brown took one for 91 runs of 25 overs.

Innswood did not start their reply well, as they quickly lost three wickets with the score on 28, two falling to the bowling off spinner McKenzie and the other to left-arm spinner Shemar Davis.

Captain Carlos Brown was the main contributor of Innswood's innings with 40 runs, including four fours and two sixes. They trail Excelsior by 195 runs. McKenzie has so far taken 2-16 and English led the way with three wickets for five runs. Duke Reid has taken two wickets for 10 runs.

Play resumes today at 10: 00 am.

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