Scorpions stung by Windies Academy
KING...stroked 28 in Jamaica Scorpions' losing effort (Photo: Observer file)

NORTH SOUND, Antigua (CMC) — Rank underdogs West Indies Academy stunned favourites Jamaica Scorpions by 12 runs in a low-scoring contest here Saturday, to blow Zone B of the Super50 Cup wide open.

Keagan Simmonds dived to his left at short mid-wicket to account for the last wicket of number 10 Jeavor Royal (3) off off-spinner Kevin Wickham, as Scorpions spectacularly folded for 170 in the 40th over in pursuit of a modest 183 for victory.

Scorpions looked in total control at 124 for three in the 25th over, thanks to Captain Rovman Powell (42), Brandon King (28) and Andre McCarthy (28) but left-arm spinner Ashmead Nedd (3-33) and Wickham (2-33) ran through the lower order to ensure the last seven wickets crashed for just 46 runs.

Fast bowler Joshua James (3-19) had earlier rocked the innings up front with an outstanding spell.

West Indies Academy opened with a narrow defeat to Leeward Islands Hurricanes last weekend and followed up with a six-wicket loss to Barbados Pride.

But Saturday's win lifted them to third place on four points above Pride on net run rate.

Sent in at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, the Academy side were bowled out for 182 in the 45th over, with Wickham top-scoring with a breezy 46 from 55 deliveries and Kevlon Anderson (33) and opener Leonardo Julien (32) chipping in.

They were struggling at 62 for three in the 19th over after off-spinner Jamie Merchant (2-33) struck twice but Wickham and Anderson combined in a 75-run, fourth-wicket stand to patch up the innings.

Wickham struck three fours and a six to force the pace while Anderson played the anchor role with a single four in his 62-ball knock.

Once Anderson top-edged a slog sweep off Royal's (3-39) left-arm spin and was taken at full stretch by Nkrumah Bonner at deep mid-wicket, the innings collapsed as the Academy lost their last seven wickets for 45 runs.

Left-arm spinner Dennis Bulli was the chief architect of the downfall, taking four for 32, including the wicket of Wickham in the 39th — bowled attempting a reverse sweep.

In reply, West Indies batsman Brandon King stroked 28 from 40 balls at the top of the order but was one of three wickets to fall to the impressive James, Scorpion slumping to 50 for three in the 14th over.

Powell arrived to lash five fours and a six in a brisk 39-ball innings, in a crucial 74-run, fourth-wicket partnership with McCarthy who counted two fours in a 43-ball knock.

The tide turned in the Academy's favour, however, when seamer Young got McCarthy to loft a straightforward chance to mid-on in the 26th over.

In another match, reigning champions Trinidad and Tobago Red Force quickly bounced back from defeat with a dominant seven-wicket victory over Windward Islands Volcanoes.

Chasing only 190 at Queen's Park Oval in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, they made light work of the target, overhauling it in 43 overs with Test wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva top-scoring with 66.

Captain Nicholas Pooran (36 not out), opener Kjorn Ottley (36) and left-hander Darren Bravo (27 not out) all featured in vital to see Red Force to their second win, following their setback to Guyana Harpy Eagles earlier in the week.

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