Russell leads way for Saints in T20

ST CATHERINE, JAMAICA - Title-holders St Catherine CC, Melbourne CC and St Mary CA progressed to the semi-final of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) JAM T20 tournament after recording respective quarter-final victories yesterday.

Former two-day champions Manchester CA booked the final spot in the last four, despite rain destroying their match against St Thomas CA. The Manchester team advanced on a superior net run rate over Thomas.

Next weekend's matches will see Melbourne clashing with St Catherine and St Mary opposing Manchester. The venue for those encounters is expected to be announced later in the week.

In the opening game at the Police playfield on Elletson Road, West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell piloted St Catherine CC to a five-wicket win over parish rivals GC Foster.

Scores: GC Foster 97 (19.4 overs); St Catherine CC 98-5 (15 overs)

Russell, a member of the regional team that won the 2012 ICC Twenty20 World Cup, grabbed 2-8 in 3.4 overs to help dismiss GC Foster for 97.

Left-arm spinner Stephan Casey snared 2-6 off four overs, while national wrist-spinner Odean Brown chipped in with 2-25 off four.

Rajiv Chatrie top scored with 38 runs from the 30 deliveries he faced.

Russell, batting at number five in the order, underlined his effectiveness in the T20 format by crashing 34 off 23 balls as St Catherine reached 98-5 with five overs to spare.

Wayne Morgan supported with an unbeaten 21, while captain Tamar Lambert, who returned to the team after missing the final round of preliminary matches due to a finger injury, hit 19.

GC Foster spinner Joseph Lemmie took 2-17 off four overs, while medium-pacer Dwight Stewart finished with 2-28 off three.

In the feature encounter at the venue, Melbourne exacted revenge on the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) by clinching a four-wicket win to book their semi-final berth.

Scores: Jamaica Defence Force 113-9 (20 overs); Melbourne CC 114-6 (19.2 overs)

Sent in to bat, JDF were restricted to 113-9 in their allotted overs after the Melbourne spinners dominated proceedings.

Wrist-spinner Damian Jacobs led the way with 2-13 off four overs, while off-spinner Yannick Elliott and out-of-favour West Indies left-arm orthodox slow bowler Nikita Miller took 2-14 and 2-15, respectively.

Captain Damion Grey (46) and Jermaine Harrison (27) were the top scorers for the JDF team.

In Melbourne's chase, Elliott displayed his all-round worth by stroking 45 not out to lift his team to 114-6 with four balls to spare. Wicketkeeper/batsman Garfield Moore chipped in with 26 and Miller added 21 to ensure Melbourne avenged the loss to JDF in the group phase.

Left-arm spinner Iva Johnson (2-27), Grey (2-30) and left-arm wrist-spinner Dennis Bulli (1-19) were the main bowlers for the soldiers.

At Chedwin Park, national youth player Aldane Thomas cracked 72 to lead St Mary to an impressive four wicket win over Westmoreland.

Scores: Westmoreland CA 157-8 (20 overs); St Mary CA 158-6 (16.4 overs)

In the afternoon clash at Chedwin Park, rain forced a no-result between Manchester and St Thomas.

Score: St Thomas 79-4 (14 overs)

First Published In The Jamaica Observer.

Sun, 11/04/2012 - 12:35