Scorpions batsman Bonner reflects on twilight heroics against Hurricanes

Sports

Scorpions batsman Bonner reflects on twilight heroics against Hurricanes

BY SANJAY MYERS
Senior staff reporter
myerss@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, February 21, 2020

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JAMAICA Scorpions batsman Nkrumah Bonner, in prime form this season, said he was forced to make a calculated decision to target Leewards Islands Hurricanes pacer Nino Henry in the fifth-round regional four-day match at Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium.

In darkening conditions late on Sunday's final day, Bonner creamed three sixes and a four as Henry conceded 25 runs in the 18th over.

When the dust settled, the Scorpions had reached their victory target of 137 runs for the loss of five wickets.

Providing the umpires had deemed the light to be satisfactory, there lingered the possibility of another over or two to be bowled in the match.

“The sun was going down and it was getting a bit gloomy,” said Bonner, who was left unbeaten on a whirlwind 48-ball 66 not out which comprised four sixes and two fours.

“I didn't want to risk it going down to another over and have bad light [called] and for the match to end in a draw, so I knew I had to do it in that over. I made up my mind and I backed myself to do it,” the 31-year-old middle-order batsman explained.

He told the Jamaica Observer that by the time he launched his assault he was still seeing the ball well, despite the diminishing visibility.

“Once you bat for any period of time as a batsman, obviously, things get easier and you get more accustomed to the environment. And the adrenaline that was flowing just took over.

“I tried to get on the off stump, as close to the ball as possible. He bowled me a few length balls and full balls, which I took advantage of,” said Bonner, who has played two Twenty20 Internationals for West Indies.

Aside from the big-hitting onslaught to end the match in dramatic style, Bonner ran sharp singles and twos, which kept the Scorpions in the hunt.

“It was basically to go out there and assess the situation and do what's required for the team. When you're chasing a total you have to put pressure on the fielding team and put pressure on the bowlers as well. You have to rotate the strike, even if not hitting any boundaries, and keep as close as you can to the total. I knew that when we are one big over away [from winning] that I would back myself, especially if I'm set,” the former West Indies Under-19 player explained.

Despite the tournament being only at the halfway stage, Bonner, who did not feature in the opening-round match away to Trinidad and Tobago Red Force due to illness, has enjoyed his best season for a senior Jamaica team.

He has scored 316 runs in eight innings for an average of 79. A topscore of 100 not out — his first hundred for Jamaica and only his second at first-class level — has been accompanied by two unbeaten half-centuries.

“It's still halfway into the season, but obviously it's my best season thus far for Jamaica in four-day cricket, and I want to push it as far as I can. Obviously, you have to value every innings, so it's very important for me to keep my composure and focus and try to maximise in every innings,” he said.

The fifth-round win was the Scorpions second on the trot after they completed a rare victory away to defending five-time champions Guyana Jaguars. Their only loss this season has come against visitors Barbados Pride.

“It was very important for us to get this victory. Obviously, we didn't start the season so well. That loss to Barbados was very embarrassing. But the guys were really up for the task [against the Hurricanes], especially after the win in Guyana where we showed real character,” he told the Observer.

The Scorpions are third in the six-team league table with 57.4 points, behind the Pride (84.2) and the Jaguars (60.8). Windward Islands Volcanoes (50 points) are fourth, ahead of the Red Force (46.6) and the Hurricanes (32.6).

The Scorpions next match is against the Jaguars, scheduled for Trelawny Stadium, starting February 27.

The top team after the completion of 10 rounds will lift the regional four-day championship trophy.


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