Hitting out

Thomas sparkles with ton to lift Jamaica Select XI

Senior staff reporter

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

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Aldaine Thomas sparkled with a rearguard century as the Jamaica Select XI repelled touring England Lions yesterday in the three-day warm-up match at Sabina Park.

At close of play on the second day, the Lions were 80-3 in their second innings for an overall lead of 107 runs. Dan Lawrence and Joe Clarke are on 16 and 12, respectively.

The Jamaica XI had been dismissed in yesterday's final session for 236 in reply to the Lions' first-innings score of 263-8 declared on Monday.

Scores: England Lions 263-8 decl (75.3 ovs) & 80-3 (19 ovs); Jamaica XI 236 (68.3 ovs)

Thomas, the 23-year-old wicketkeeper/batsman, creamed 10 fours and two sixes in his easy-on-the-eye knock of 109. He faced 185 deliveries before being the last man dismissed.

He was the only player to pass 30 in the Jamaica XI innings, and his partnership of 80 runs with number 10 Gordon Bryan (29) for the ninth wicket was integral in hauling the hosts almost within 27 runs of the Englishmen's first-innings total.

The Lions' 24-year-old pace bowler James Porter, who took two wickets on Monday, finished with 3-24, while another seamer, Toby Roland-Jones, claimed 3-37.

Earlier, the Jamaica XI resumed on 36-4 with Thomas and left-hander Paul Palmer both yet to get off the mark.

They batted carefully through the first hour on a dry and worn-looking pitch to add 40 runs, but the introduction of left-arm seamer George Garton split the partnership.

Garton, bowling over the wicket, got one to slant into Palmer and the ball slid between bat and pad to disturb the stumps.

Damani Sewell (one) soon fell to Garton via the leg before wicket route and Jamie Merchant (eight) went in similar fashion to the left-arm finger spinner Jack Leach as the home team reached the lunch break at 92-7.

A 40-run partnership followed between Thomas and Jacobs, but the latter tried to cut a short delivery from the tall Roland-Jones and edged to Dan Lawrence at first slip for 13.

The assured Thomas kept up the fight at the other end. A crunching slog sweep for six off leg-spinner Mason Crane brought him a well-deserved 50.

He picked up the pace as he approached the century. He mixed positive footwork and an array of sweeps to unsettle the spinners, and also spanked a few delectable square drives off the pacers to thrill the mere handful of spectators.

After the tea interval, Bryan drove back firmly down the pitch for off-spinner Dominic Bess to snatch a return catch, leaving Thomas at risk of being stranded short of the milestone.

But at first opportunity, the stylish batsman skipped down the wicket to drive firmly over Bess's head and into the straight boundary for four to move to 99. A sweep for two behind square on the leg side off the same bowler brought him to triple figures.

He was eventually out when he drove a full toss from Porter straight into the hands of Haseeb Hameed at short cover.

Seemingly boosted by Thomas's heroics, the local team was off to a decent start.

Pacer Marquino Mindley startled right-hander Hameed (13) with a delivery that darted inward to bowl him.

Towering fast bowler Reynard Leveridge, 27, who bowled well in the first innings for two wickets, was at it again second time around. Letting fly with plenty of aggression and at high pace, he consistently got the ball to swing away from the right handers and into the left-handers. He got a sideways movement from a full delivery into the left-hand opener Nick Gubbins and had him trapped lbw for 11.

The hard-working Leveridge was unlucky not to get another when Dan Lawrence edged to second slip where Assad Fudadin appeared to put down a low chance.

But leg-spinner Damion Jacobs ensured the visitors were three down overnight when Liam Livingstone (16) missed a sweep and was given out lbw.




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