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Melbourne beat Kensington in tense finale

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Melbourne Cricket Club clinched a nail-biting one -wicket win over Kensington Cricket Club to crown themselves champions of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) 50-over competition at Chedwin Park yesterday.

Melbourne, who were beaten in the previous edition by St Catherine CC in 2016, were in complete control of the contest after dismissing Kensington for 173, but made heavy weather of the target in the latter stages of their chase and just got home at 176-9.

Melbourne pocketed $500,000 for the win.

Scores: Kensington CC 173 (49.2 overs); 176-9 (47.3 overs)

After winning the toss and sending Kensington to bat, Melbourne, led by a five-wicket haul from left-arm orthodox spinner Christopher Lamont, made steady inroads into the opponent's batting line up.

A well-played 107 run fifth-wicket stand between Delbert Gayle, who top scored with 78, and Dellon Sutherland, 31, rescued Kensington from 22-4 to lay the platform for their moderate total.

Gayle, who was the more aggressive of the two, hit six fours and five sixes in his 96-ball knock.

The demise of both batsmen signalled another collapse and Warren Campbell (17) was the only other batsman to get into double figures as Lamont ran amok in the lower order.

Lamont, who recently returned from Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Twenty20 duties with St Lucia Stars, picked up 5-27 from 10 overs, including two maidens in his man of-the-match performance. Krishna Graham was the next best bowler with 2-34.

Melbourne's reply started positively with Tareque White slamming four boundaries in his 23, before holing out to Campbell off Nicholson Gordon to leave the score at 29-1.

That quickly became 44-2, as captain Paul Palmer Jr (seven) failed to stick around long and Abhijai Mansingh, who top scored with 44, and Graham, with a snappy 31 off 34 balls, steadied the innings with a 54-run, third-wicket stand.

Despite slipping to 147-6 after Graham, Guyanese-born Assad Fudadin (one), Mansingh and wicketkeeper/batsman Aldane Thomas (27) fell, Melbourne were still in a handy position requiring 27 with approximately eight overs to spare.

However, Kensington's captain Denniel Griffiths, bowling his slow left-arm orthodox, picked up wickets at crucial times to bring the game down to the wire, as Melbourne slipped to 158-9.

But young lower-order batsmen Kristoff Virgo (15 not out) and Matthew Comerie, unbeaten on nine, held their composure to guide Melbourne to victory.

—Sherdon Cowan