Reggae Boys too good for Sussex
NORTH SOUND, Antigua – Jamaica followed up a steady half-century from Nkrumah Bonner with purposeful bowling to sweep to a 50-run victory over Sussex in the Caribbean Twenty20 tournament on Thursday.
Leg-spinner Odean Brown led the bowling with three wickets for 17 runs from four overs, as the Sharks failed to successfully chase 153 for victory in their rain-affected, top-of-the-table Group-B match at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.
Part-time off-spinner Marlon Samuels supported with two for 15 from four overs, while left-arm spinner Nikita Miller and left-arm medium-fast bowler Krishmar Santokie both ended with two for 23 from four overs, as the Jamaicans took charge after a 45-run, second-wicket stand between Sussex top scorers Chris Nash and Joe Gatting.
Jamaica collected the last nine Sussex wickets for 53 runs from 66 balls, including Nash for the top score of 26 and Gatting for 20, formalising the result when Santokie held a catch at fine leg to dismiss tail-ender Chris Liddle for 16 off Samuels with four balls remaining.
It was the second win for the Jamaicans in the competition, earning them four points and moving them to eight in total. Sussex remain on four points.
Bonner, a recent graduate of the West Indies High Performance Centre, batted through the innings to give Jamaica the platform for the victory with an unbeaten 66, anchoring the regional double-crown champions to a competitive 152 for five from their allocation of 20 overs.
Bonner smote seven fours and one six from 57 balls, sharing 51 for the first wicket with fellow opener Kennar Lewis, and valuable late stands with Carlton Baugh Jr and Andre Russell.
Lewis made 23, Baugh added 20 in a stand of 40 for the fourth wicket, and Russell got 24 in a fifth-wicket partnership of 30.
Jamaica made an early breakthrough, when opener Matt Machan was run out for a duck in the first over.
They were held up when Nash and Gatting got together and took advantage of some ragged Jamaican fielding to get the English county moving.
Once Brown bowled Nash in the ninth over, there was little or no resistance from the rest of the Sussex batting.
Jamaica wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh Jr also enhanced his reputation behind the stumps with three electric stumpings that hastened the end for Sussex.
Earlier, Bonner and Lewis set the tone for the Jamaica innings with enterprising batting at the top of the order.
When Lewis was caught at mid-wicket, top-edging a slog/sweep off Sussex captain and England left-arm spinner Michael Yardy in the seventh over, Jamaica stumbled to 68 for three in the 11th over, losing the West Indies pair of Marlon Samuels and Danza Hyatt cheaply.
Baugh and later Russell came to the crease and in typical fashion, they roughed up the opposition bowling while Bonner kept things steady at the other end, helping the Jamaicans add 52 in the last five overs.
Jamaica face Barbados in their next match on Saturday at this venue, where Sussex meet Combined Campuses & Colleges on the same day.