Miller, Bernard rescue Jamaica slide
ST GEORGE’S, Grenada – West Indies opener Chris Gayle failed on his return to action as Jamaica struggled on the opening day of their fourth round match in the Regional Four-Day Championship against Windward Islands here Wednesday.
In the only chance at match practice ahead of next week’s first Test in Barbados, Gayle was dismissed for just 15 in a weak batting display by the five-time defending champions at the National Stadium.
In the end, Jamaica needed Nikita Miller’s top score of 55 and David Bernard Jr’s 52, in order to get up to 207 all out after they won the toss and batted.
Miller and Bernard put on 104 runs for the seventh wicket after Jamaica slumped to 80 for six.
At the close, the Windwards were making a strong reply at 41 without loss, with West Indies one-day opener Johnson Charles unbeaten on 23.
The Windwards, who are leading the competition, require a further 166 runs for first innings lead.
Gayle, who sat out the recent one-day and T20 series against Zimbabwe, looked ominous early on, thumping two boundaries down the ground off left-arm seamer Delorn Johnson, as Jamaica cruised to 25 without loss after five overs.
Simon Jackson was the first to fall for 12, caught at slip off left-armer Kenroy Peters with the score on 30. Without any addition, Gayle also perished to a leg-side catch off Johnson.
Jamaica were rebuilding in a 24-run, third wicket stand between Nkruman Bonner and Danza Hyatt, when captain Darren Sammy struck in his first over, claiming Hyatt to a catch at the wicket for 12.
Three wickets then tumbled for 26 runs to leave Jamaica tottering on 80 for six at the lunch interval.
Miller and Bernard then combined in an excellent century stand that ensured Jamaica batted through the post-lunch session to add 79 runs without losing a wicket.
Unbeaten on 48 at tea, Miller raised his half-century off 107 balls in 2-1/2 hours at the crease but lost Bernard soon afterward when he fell lbw to off-spinner Shane Shillingford
Sammy bowled Miller soon afterward to reduce Jamaica to 170 for eight but Odean Brown struck a couple of boundaries in a brisk 15 to ensure his side got past 200, before he became Shillingford’s fourth wicket.