Pride hang on despite late rally from Scorpions

Observer staff reporter

Monday, March 11, 2019

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Despite a strong fight back, Jamaica Scorpions were unable to deny Barbados Pride a nerve-wracking two-wicket win on the final day of their ninth-round West Indies Championship four-day cricket game at Sabina Park yesterday.

With the visitors requiring 153 more runs to achieve their victory target of 158 after resuming the day on five without loss, it was always expected to be an uphill task for the Scorpions to come back.

However, captain Nikita Miller and fellow spinner Akim Frazer made things interesting for the Scorpions, as they picked up wickets at crucial times to take the game down to the wire.

Miller, playing the final game of his first-class career, snared 3-43 to end with match figures of 6-106, while young Frazer had 3-55 ending with match figures of 5-148.

In the end, their efforts proved futile as a vital knock by Pride captain Shamarh Brooks early on, propelled his team across the line.

Brooks scored 71 in leading his team to 161-8, as the third-placed Pride registered their fifth win of the campaign, while condemning fifth-placed Scorpions to a second-consecutive defeat and fifth of the season.

Scores: Jamaica Scorpions 250 (87.5 overs) & 218 (59.3 overs); Barbados Pride 311-9 (104.4 overs) & 161-8 (60 overs).

The 30-year-old Brooks, who achieved his 20th first-class half-century with the knock, was pleased that putting in the effort required brought his team just reward. His patient 147-ball knock included nine boundaries.

“We were always playing with a man down with [Jomel] Warrican not being here, we lost wickets early and so we definitely needed a partnership to get in. So as captain I felt it was my job to bat to the end, and I didn't get to the end, but try to bat as deep as possible and I think it paid dividends in terms of winning this game today (yesterday).

“The message was always to spend time at the crease because once you are out there the runs must come, but Nikita Miller bowled really well; he didn't get a big haul in this game but his skill level and consistency was really good,” Brooks told journalists in a post-game interview.

Miller for his part also lauded his team's effort.

“I think we fought really hard. I think Akim bowled really well, a little bit of inexperience showed there in the end but he really bowled well and this is his third game. I think the fast bowlers did a good job for us earlier as well and in the field we were pretty decent.

“So it was a pretty good game; we pushed them hard to the end and so I can't fault the team for effort, so I am not too disappointed. I would have loved to win but it was a great game overall,” Miller reasoned.

After three days of decent cricket, the game exploded into life, as Scorpions intensified their hunt for wickets with the possibility of a draw clearly eliminated.

Pride began the day confident and looked set for a comfortable victory but a few early wickets saw the Scorpions having a real say in the contest.

The visitors' batting in the first innings had been peculiar and their application to grind towards their target slowly was also admirable, but they were slightly bothered by the Scorpions' bowlers yesterday.

Out of favour West Indies seamer Jerome Taylor found a good line early to bowl openers Shayne Moseley (3) and Kraigg Brathwaite (17) inside the first hour.

First innings topscorer Jonathan Carter (six) had a brief stay on this occasion as he went caught behind by stand-in wicketkeeper Kennar Lewis off Frazer, but not before forging 33 for the third wicket with Brooks.

At 59-3, Roston Chase joined Brooks in the middle and the two tried to simmer things down with another 30-run stand, but the former also fell to the Frazer, Lewis combination for 18.

Shamar Springer also contributed 18 in a fifth-wicket stand with Brooks valuing 47 runs before being trapped in front by Miller at 136-5.

And when Miller also had Brooks adjudged leg before wicket, there was a major shift in momentum even with Pride requiring a mere 15 runs.

Things got even more interesting when Frazer struck a double blow, removing Tevyn Walcott (six) and Keon Harding (zero) to leave the score at 147-8.

However, Jamaican-born Marquino Mindley with an unbeaten 12, saw off the bowling and ensured victory with a big six off Frazer.

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