.. go down by 157 runs to Red Force after another calamitous batting display

Monday, January 14, 2019

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Jamaica Scorpions suffered another embarrassing batting flop to lose by 157 runs to Trinidad and Tobago Red Force yesterday, in the fourth-round West Indies four-day cricket match at Sabina Park.

Entering the final day on 108-5 in search of an unlikely 325 runs for victory, the Scorpions looked inept against hardly more than steady spin bowling from the visitors and were bowled out for 167.

Scores: Red Force 203 (66 overs) and 233 (92.4 overs); Scorpions 112 (38.3 overs) and 167 (59 overs).

The Red Force slow left-arm orthodox bowler Khary Pierre delivered on a tight line and length, while extracting some spin and bounce to capture 3-29 for five wickets in the match. The 27-year-old's bowling performance, coupled with contributions of 35 and 46 with the bat in either innings secured him the player of the match award.

The Red Force leg spinner Imran Khan took most wickets in the second innings to end with 5-59. Khan, 34, used flight and variety to good effect, bamboozling the Scorpions batsmen on a pitch that, though producing some turn for the spinners, remained good for batting.

Amidst the Scorpions' batting gloom, Guyanese-born left-hander Assad Fudadin, who tallied 35 not out, appeared the only batsman with the requisite technique to counter the slow bowlers. Opener Oraine Williams, playing his first game of the season, hit a top score of 56 on the third day when the Scorpions raced to 89 without loss before their calamitous collapse.

The standard of the Scorpions bowling could hardly have been faulted in the match, with wily left-arm finger spinner Nikita Miller accounting for 12 Red Force wickets.

It is the first victory of the season for Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, after home defeats in their previous two matches.

Denesh Ramdin, the Red Force captain, is relieved his side has got something under the win column.

“It's a long-awaited one; I was happy to get a win [after] two games in which we didn't get the opportunity to win. I'm happy the bowlers came through in this game. With our batters there's room for improvement, and hopefully we can grow from strength to strength,” the sidelined West Indies Test wicketkeeper told the Jamaica Observer during a post-game interview.

For Jamaica, who also lost at Sabina Park to Windward Islands Volcanoes last week, it was a third-straight loss, and second for interim Head Coach Robert Haynes after he took over from Robert Samuels, whose contract was not renewed by the franchise.

Ramdin's opposite number Paul Palmer had no doubt where the game was lost, after his team posted scores of 112 and 167 in good batting conditions.

“It was a poor performance from our batters, myself included, but going forward we just have to find a way to spend some time at the crease. It can't just be about scoring boundaries all the time; we have to find a way to spend time in the middle and do the dirty work for the team,” the Scorpions skipper stressed to reporters.

Jamaica Scorpions resumed on the final morning with Fudadin, on six, and Rovman Powell, on two, at the crease. The hosts were up against it, needing a further 217 runs with five wickets in hand, but their resistance was lame, lasting only an hour and 15 minutes on a sunny morning.

Powell, nursing a groin injury sustained earlier in the match, was first to go when he pushed forward to Pierre and nicked an edge to Kyle Hope at slip for 13 with the score on 126.

The dismissal of wicketkeeper Aldaine Thomas (11), like numerous others in the match, would have annoyed coach Haynes — the batsman advancing down the pitch to Khan and nonchalantly lofting a drive straight into the hands of the long on fielder Anderson Phillip.

Miller, though not a recognised batsman, also went softly, top-edging a slog sweep to Odean Smith at midwicket for one.

Khan also got rid of left-handers Reynard Leveridge (zero) and Oshane Thomas (five) to complete the emphatic win.

At the other end, Fudadin, who made 81 and 48 in the Volcanoes loss, was compact as ever while accumulating four fours during his unbeaten 111-ball stay.

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