Blackwood, Archibald hundreds dominate opening day
Blackwood’s knock held the Scorpions’ innings together (Photo: Observer file)

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — Tail-ender Colin Archilbald struck an exhilarating unbeaten hundred to haul Leeward Islands Hurricanes out of trouble while Test vice-captain Jermaine Blackwood stroked his eighth first-class century to lead Jamaica Scorpions’ domination on the opening day of the fourth round of matches here Wednesday.

When Hurricanes slumped to 179 for nine after tea at Queen’s Park Oval, it appeared as if Windward Islands Volcanoes were taking an early stranglehold on the contest.

But the left-handed Archibald arrived at number 10 to blast an unbeaten 104 off just 97 deliveries, to fire his side to 301 for nine at the close.

At the Diego Martin Complex, the right-handed Blackwood finished unbeaten on 110, a knock that propelled Scorpions to 282 for six against Guyana Harpy Eagles.

Scorpions too were in trouble at 99 for four just after lunch but Blackwood produced a composed knock spanning 251 deliveries and 5¼ hours, and including 14 fours and a six, to steer his side to safety.

In the other game at the Brian Lara Stadium, Barbados Pride bundled out hosts Trinidad and Tobago Red Force for 133 and were 87 for two at the close, just 46 runs adrift of first innings lead heading into Thursday’s second day.

Archibald took the spotlight, however, his innings ensuring Hurricanes maintained their momentum from the third round win over Red Force last week.

Choosing to bat first, Hurricanes were wilting at 72 for four and needed Jahmar Hamilton’s 52 off 71 deliveries and Terrance Warde’s 30 to revive themselves, before Archibald’s unleashed his fireworks in the final session.

Montcin Hodge (14) was the first casualty of the morning, lbw on the backfoot to pacer Darius Martin in the eighth over with the score on 21 before Kieran Powell was run out for 19 by Ackeem Auguste’s direct hit at the non-striker’s end on the stroke of the first hour.

Ross Powell followed for nine and Devon Thomas made 25 but Hamilton halted the slide by posting 36 for the fifth wicket with Amir Jangoo (2) and a further 47 for the sixth with Warde.

Hamilton’s demise after striking seven fours led to a slide which saw four wickets tumble for 24 runs as left-arm pacer Preston McSween (4-78) made key strikes.

Arriving at the crease in the fourth over after tea with Hurricanes tottering on 167 for eight, Archibald blasted 13 fours and four sixes as he put on a vital 122 in an unbroken ninth wicket partnership with Daniel Doram (17 not out).

He reached his hundred in the day’s penultimate over with a punch through straightish mid on off fast bowler Josh Thomas.

Blackwood also had reason to celebrate as his knock held the Scorpions innings together after left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie (2-39) and off-spinner Kevin Sinclair (2-74) threatened to put Harpy Eagles on top.

He put on 52 for the second wicket with Test teammate John Campbell who made 37 from 58 balls with seven fours, and when three wickets fell for 39 runs, added a further 112 for the fifth wicket with Alwyn Williams who made 51 off 113 deliveries with eight fours.

On 31 at lunch and 66 at tea, Blackwood reached triple figures with a single behind point off left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul deep in the final session.

For the second straight round, Red Force suffered a batting meltdown, Imran Khan top-scoring with 29, Terrance Hinds getting 25 and captain Joshua Da Silva scoring 23, after choosing to bat.

They were 50 for five before Da Silva stitched up the innings first in a 41-run, sixth wicket stand with Imran Khan and then in a 38-run seventh wicket partnership with Hinds.

Left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican led Pride with three for 21 while fast bowler Akeem Jordan extended his good form with two for 17.

In reply, Pride were stumbling at 34 for two thanks to a double strike from Hinds, but left-hander Raymon Reifer (32 not out) engineered a recovery courtesy of an unbroken, 53-run, third-wicket partnership with Jonathan Carter (19 not out).

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