Fraser makes dream start to Scorpions career, bags 4-69


Fraser makes dream start to Scorpions career, bags 4-69

Senior staff reporter

Friday, February 22, 2019

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Jamaica Scorpions spinner Akim Fraser yesterday had a dream start to his first-class career, but honours were even against four-time reigning champions Guyana Jaguars on the first day of the eighth-round West Indies four-day cricket match at Sabina Park.

At the close, the Scorpions were struggling on 108-6 in reply to the Jaguars' below-par first-innings score of 158.

Scores: Jaguars 158 (55.4 overs); Scorpions 108-6 (26 overs).

The not out batsmen are left-hander Assad Fudadin, on 31, and Kenroy Williams, on four, with play set to resume 10:00 am today.

The 23-year-old off-spinner Fraser was a thorn in the visitors' side yesterday, accounting for the first three wickets en route to figures of 4-69.

“I'm elated, I probably could not have asked for a better start. The only way I could have got a better start is probably if I had got five [wickets], but I'm really happy with the performance. I went for a few runs towards the end — I was not too happy about that,” he told the Jamaica Observer during an interview.

“I started well, I was consistent and I hit the [right] areas, and I got some assistance from the pitch,” Fraser added.

The Scorpions, who started this match fifth in the six-team table, won the toss and asked the league leaders Jaguars to take first strike in sunny and windy conditions.

The pitch, sporting a good cover of grass, gave signs that the quicker bowlers would have their moments on it.

But in recent years Sabina Park has also favoured spin, and the Scorpions' pre-match declaration was to target the Jaguars' slew of left-handers with off-spin — the idea being that the ball turning away from them would cause problems.

And it came to pass as Fraser rocked the Jaguars top order, dismissing three left-handers before lunch.

Chandrapaul Hemraj was dropped by Jermaine Blackwood at slip in Fraser's first over, but he went soon after for 23.

That same over, he was undone by a ball that bounced and turned and was caught by substitute fielder Alwyn Williams running around to his left at backward point.

Sherfane Rutherford (zero) did not survive for long, striding out to miss a big heave and was smartly stumped by wicketkeeper Aldaine Thomas in the spinner's second over.

In his fourth over, Fraser got a third wicket when he lured Tagenarine Chanderpaul (15) into an edged drive, and Blackwood at first slip made amends for the earlier miss.

The Jaguars reached lunch on 74-3, but the Scorpions tightened the screws in the session that followed.

Pacer Reynard Leveridge, bowling around the wicket, got a back-of-a-length delivery to bounce steeply at left-hander Vishaul Singh (27) who offered a looping catch to Brandon King at gully.

Wicketkeeper Thomas was again called into action to break the stumps after Fraser craftily lured Christopher Barnwell (zero) from his crease to leave the Jaguars 90-5.

Captain Leon Johnson was the sixth to fall, going leg before wicket to medium pacer Derval Green. The left-hand batsman, who had survived a couple of earlier shouts for lbw, misjudged a ball that shaped into him and rapped the pad.

Green also had Raymon Reifer — the sixth left-hander in the top seven — via the lbw route.

The 34-year-old pacer Jerome Taylor joined the wicket-taking party, sending back Romario Shepherd (16) with the help of 'keeper Thomas in the final over before tea as the Jaguars inched to 141-8.

Taylor, getting plenty of movement from a relatively short run-up, finished the Jaguars' innings early in the final session.

Wicketkeeper Anthony Bramble, who played positively for a top-score of 36, and Veerasammy Permaul were his last two victims as the pacer captured 3-24.

The Scorpions, who have struggled with the bat all campaign, were off to the worst of starts.

Captain Paul Palmer, who has endured a wretched run, promoted himself to the top of the order after regular opener Oraine Williams was left out.

But he went without getting off the mark, drawn into a tentative push to a delivery from pacer Clinton Pestano that pitched about middle and off stump and slanted across the left-hander. The resultant edge was taken by Johnson at slip.

Chadwick Walton (seven) was next, bowled by an in-swinging delivery from the impressive Pestano, who has so far taken 4-16.

Jermaine Blackwood (13) played away from his body and edged Pestano to Bramble, while Brandon King (seven) top-edged a swat at a high, looping bouncer from pacer Shepherd and was caught by Johnson behind the stumps.

Thomas (nought) got a faint touch on a leg-side flick at a Pestano ball and was caught by the wicketkeeper, while Green gave his hand away after making a counter-attacking 38-ball 40. The all-rounder was sent back by left-arm finger spinner Permaul when he attempted to hit against the spin and the breeze and was caught at wide long on by Rutherford to leave the Scorpions 98-6.

Fudadin and Williams saw the Scorpions to the close without further alarm.

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