Cricket

Ramdin, rain save Red Force

Scorpions settle for draw after dominating Sabina Park fixture

BY SANJAY MYERS
Senior staff reporter
myerss@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, December 11, 2017

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Determined batting from Trinidad and Tobago Red Force Captain Denesh Ramdin and a persistent afternoon drizzle yesterday ensured Jamaica Scorpions were denied victory in the sixth-round regional four-day game at Sabina Park.

When umpires ruled out the possibility of further play at 4:42 pm on the final day, the Red Force were 163-6, still needing another 129 runs to avoid an innings defeat.

Scores: Red Force 243 (82.5 overs) & 163-6 (75 overs); Scorpions 535 (126 overs).

The 32-year-old Ramdin, the sidelined West Indies wicketkeeper/batsman, was unbeaten on a 52, while Imran Khan was not out on 17. The two had shared in a dogged, unbroken stand of 40 runs for the seventh wicket that soaked up 160 balls and nullified the pressure from the hosts.

To make matters worse for the Scorpions, rain, which began 3:06 pm as they closed in for the kill, limited play to only 67 overs yesterday. And on Saturday, just 56 overs were possible.

The Scorpions pacer Reynard Leveridge, 27, both menacing and fairly accurate during the innings, snared 3-23 off 11 overs.

Paul Palmer, the Scorpions' captain, told the Jamaica Observer that the outfield, which did not drain off the rainfall as quickly as he would have liked to allow more playing time, was the major reason they had to settle for a draw in a game they totally dominated.

“It's tough, but we have to blame our outfield, because it could have been better. There were a few instances when we could have been playing [but the field was too damp]. We did what we had to do and we executed our plans batting wise. I think the bowlers were consistent for the most part because the track was good for batting. We knew it wouldn't be easy to get all 10 wickets,” he said in a post-match interview.

The Scorpions skipper, who made a maiden first-class hundred in the first innings, said there was no regret after batting all the way to 535 all out instead of declaring and giving themselves more time to bowl at the Red Force.

Ramdin said his players lost their wickets too easily, but was grateful he and Khan were able to battle to the end.

“That's where experience comes in, because coming into today we need to bat out the day's play. I think we gave up our wickets too easily because the opposition didn't really bowl those wicket-taking balls to get us out.

“The experience with me and Khan we tried to hold on at the end there. For a fourth-day pitch it was fantastic, I would say. No balls were keeping low or bouncing and spinning too much out of the rough,” he told the Observer.

The Red Force resumed from their overnight score of 21-1 with left-handers Jeremy Solozano on eight and Yannic Cariah, who was yet to get off the mark.

The hosts wasted little time in orchestrating the first crack. Cariah (nought) was drawn into a tentative push by a swinging delivery from Leveridge and played onto his stumps.

Ewart Nicholson, who made an enterprising half century in the first innings, was given a life the first ball he faced when the diving Trevon Griffith at gully floored a tough chance with Leveridge the unfortunate bowler.

Before long, Griffith was able to make amends, as the visitors stumbled to 47-3.

Steep bounce from the deceptively quick pace bowler Odean Smith caused the ball to hit high on Nicholson's bat, and the slim-framed gully fielder was able to take an easy catch. Nicholson, who hit two fours and six, made 17.

Part-timer off-spinner John Campbell, who usually gets plenty of turn, prised the wicket of the stubborn Solozano (23) when a leading edge off the left-hander's bat gave him a return catch.

The team's ace spinner Damion Jacobs was bowling well, but without much luck, and the Red Force batsmen were just about holding on. However, he did eventually have some individual joy when Tion Webster (30) charged down the pitch and missed the ball, leaving wicketkeeper Aldane Thomas to whip the bails off. Webster's dismissal ended a 58-run partnership with Ramdin for the fifth wicket.

The tall Leveridge, bowling with appreciable pace and movement, got the ball to dart back into Roshon Primus and it clipped the top of off stump at 123-6.

It was the last celebration the Scorpions would have as Ramdin and Khan held the fort until rain had the final say.

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