DESPITE three days of attacking cricket on both fronts, TT Red Force just couldn’t finish off Jamaica Scorpions on the final day of play. The match ended in an opening round draw, in the Cricket West Indies Four-Day Championships, at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba, on Sunday.
Scorpions, following on with a deficit of 182, resumed the day at 86 for one and after reaching 300 for eight from 106 overs. Both teams agreed to call the game a draw with first-innings half-centurion Paul Palmer registering an exquisite 116 not out and Jermaine Blackwood providing a defiant 78 as well.
Red Force got off to a bright start with Assad Fudadin adding just two to his overnight score before being run out on 34 by Akeal Hosein with the score at 91. However, the local team would struggle for a third-wicket breakthrough as Palmer came to the crease alongside Blackwood, who was on 17 not out overnight.
Together, they sensibly navigated ones and twos while opting for the occasional boundary. They patiently established an integral 131-run partnership to keep Red Force’s bowlers at bay as Blackwood got to his fifty off 148 balls with six fours. Scorpions went to lunch at 159 for two with Blackwood taking lead on 52 and Palmer on 31, looking confident of delaying the hosts an outright victory.
However, Blackwood lost composure upon resumption and offered Yannick Ottley a simple return catch after the left-arm orthodox spinner was reintroduced into the attack. The diminutive right-hander departed for 78 off 192 with nine boundaries to his name.
Rovman Powell came to the wicket but he would exit ten runs later, edging Ottley to Kyle Hope at first slip for five. The Scorpions did seem to be in a spot of bother as Aldane Thomas was the next to go a run later – LBW to Hosein for duck. He was the first victim for the left-arm orthodox spinner who’d go on to claim an impressive three for 65 to add to his four-for in the first innings. Hosein followed up with a caught-and-bowled off Alwayne Williams for duck and another leg-before to scalp Derval Greene for nine with the total on 266 just after tea.
With overs running out, Palmer provided the foundation the Jamaicans needed as his knock took up 216 balls with ten fours. He steadied the innings and took a liking to Hosein and Charles’ spin, with a couple delicate cuts for four and a straight drive off Yannic Cariah for four as well. He brought his century up after 184 balls.
By the time Bryan Charles got Marquino Mindley (11) edging behind to Joshua Da Silva at 285, the writing was on the wall. Dennis Bulli ended not out three as both captains called the game off.
Ottley finished on two for 51 and Charles ended with two for 88 as the Scorpions concluded with a 118 lead with 30 minutes left to play and 15 overs left. Red Force will play Leeward Islands Hurricanes on Thursday at the same venue in the next round while Scorpions return home to host Windward Islands Volcanoes.