Volcanoes erupt on Scorpions for day one of West Indies Championship
Captain Jermaine Blackwood was left ruing a few soft dismissals as Windward Islands Volcanoes put Jamaica Scorpions under the pump on day one of their opening cricket match in the West Indies Championship at Sabina Park in Kingston. This is the regional four-day competition being staged by Cricket West Indies.
Entering Thursday, the second morning, the Volcanoes are 157-2 in reply to the Scorpions’ underwhelming first-innings score of 159 all out.
The 24-year-old left-hander Johann Jeremiah, in his third first-class, is not out on 66, while out-of-favour West Indies batsman Sunil Ambris is on 30 on a good-looking batting pitch.
Blackwood told the Jamaica Observer that the Volcanoes benefited from better batting conditions after winning the toss and electing to bowl first. But he says that the Scorpions wasted the chance to build bigger partnerships during their time at the crease.
“I think they [the Volcanoes] got the better conditions to bowl in, but I think we should have batted better,” he said during an interview at close of play. “There were points in the day when we had partnerships and we found a way to get out.”
Blackwood mentions the sudden end to a promising 53-run sixth-wicket partnership between Romaine Morris, who top-scored with a breezy 35, and Abhijai Mansingh (16) via the run-out route as a frustrating moment as the Scorpions sought to rebuild.
“That run out with Morris and Mansingh hurt us a bit,” he said. “Morris really looked the part, but it was very frustrating the way he got run out and then Mansingh also got out.”
The Scorpions skipper said his team’s wayward bowling was also a let-down.
“I think we bowled two sides of the wicket too much,” Blackwood said. “Tomorrow we have to create more pressure and let them take as long as possible to score their runs. We have to regroup and think about those small things and implement them.”
Volcanoes Head Coach Kenroy Peters was beaming at the end of the first day.
“Any team would be happy to be 157-2 after bowling out Jamaica for 159,” he said. “We ticked all the boxes and won all the sessions on the first day…it was a good team effort. We are in a very good position to really take charge of what we want to do.”
Peters says his team made the best of the conditions after opting to bowl first.
“There was a late moisture that kind of helped us,” he said. “Our plan was to bowl wicket to wicket, hitting those areas and forcing to batter to play more often. The ball moved around slightly as it does in the Caribbean with the new ball, and that’s our strength — swinging the new ball.”
Earlier, the Volcanoes got the early inroads with the ball, dismissing Chadwick Walton (four), Kirk McKenzie (10), Nkrumah Bonner (one), Blackwood (14), and Carlos Brown (eight) as the Scorpions slumped to 45-5.
But Morris and Mansingh batted with relative ease to take the Scorpions into the second session without further loss. But after both were dismissed the batting fell away as only Peat Salmon (26) offered any resistance.
Pacer Ryan John, who bowled accurately and with plenty energy, ended with 5-43.
Skipper Kimani Melius played a few sumptuous shots in his 31, and Jeremy Solozano (26) was typically solid as the Volcanoes sought to reel in the small total.
Though Melius was dismissed by leg-spinner Mansingh and Solozano fell off spinner Salmon, the pair of Jeremiah and Ambris added 56 runs to ease to the close.