Woakes ton floors JA

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Chris Woakes battered Jamaica’s inexperienced bowling attack into submission with a stroke-filled hundred for the England Lions in the WICB Regional first-class championship on Thursday. Woakes, batting at eight, was undefeated on 104 – his third first-class hundred – to lead the Lions to 340 for nine in their first innings at the close on the opening day of their seventh round match at Sabina Park.

The 22-year-old from Warwickshire struck one-dozen fours and three sixes from 118 balls in 2 ½ hours to beef-up the visitors’ total, after their innings appeared at the crossroads on 161 for six. He added 71 for the seventh wicket with Ben Stokes, and put on 54 for the eighth wicket with James Harris before dominating the last hour to reach his hundred from 111 balls with a back-foot drive through cover off Jason Dawes for a deuce.

Stokes supported with eight fours and two sixes in 63 from 80 balls in two hours, Harris scored 22, James Taylor made 41, and Lions captain James Hildreth added 40. The Jamaica national selection panel had to reconstruct their bowling attack, following a spate of injuries that hit the squad during and after last weekend’s match against Trinidad & Tobago, placing the burden of responsibility on the shoulders of a number of untested players.

They appeared to be on the right track, when they had the Lions scrambling on 79 for four at lunch. Sheldon Cotterrell, one of them, made the breakthrough, when he had Adam Lyth caught at gully for three, and the wickets of Jimmy Adams – bowled by Danza Hyatt for 11 – and Andrew Gale – run out by Brendan Nash’s direct hit from square leg – off successive balls had the Lions rocking on 41 for three.

Bevon Brown, one of the other untested Jamaican players, ended an encouraging morning for the bowling unit, when he bowled a lame Craig Kieswetter for 15 on the stroke of lunch. After the interval, Taylor and Stokes featured in a 58-run, sixth-wicket stand, after their captain James Hildreth was caught at first slip off Dawes in the first half-hour. Stokes joined Taylor, and they batted through until about 20 minutes before the interval, when Taylor was adjudged lbw to Hyatt playing across the line.

Just prior to tea, Brown dropped Stokes – on 17 – in the deep off Akeem Dewar, a teenaged leg-spinner in his first regional first-class match, as the Lions reached 182 for six at the break. After tea, Stokes continued to plunder the runs in partnership with Woakes, and reached his 50 from 72 balls with his sixth four to third man off Cotterrell before he was caught in the deep off Jamaica captain Tamar Lambert, twirling his off-spin.

Harris joined Woakes, and the runs continued to flow before he was lbw to Dewar, and after the Lions passed 300, Cotterrell bowled Danny Briggs for three. Woakes however, farmed the bowling in the closing stages to take the Lions innings into a second day. The Lions made three changes with Lyth, Stokes, and Nathan Buck replacing Jonny Bairstow, Adil Rashid, and Andy Carter.

Brown, Cotterrell, Dawes, and Dewar have replaced the injured quartet of Jerome Taylor, fellow fast bowler Andrew Richardson, all-rounder Dave Bernard Jr, and leg-spinner Odean Brown. The Lions lead the eight-team ladder with 48 points ahead of Combined Campuses & Colleges and Jamaica on 45 apiece.

Jamaica gained first innings points in a draw against T&T, and the Lions are supremely confident, following a 258-run victory over Windward Islands. The Lions are only taking part in the league phase of the competition before returning to Britain on Monday.

This means the top four Caribbean teams will progress to the semi-finals, and Jamaica will be looking to cement their place in this group. With the two higher place teams hosting the semi-finals, the Jamaicans will be keen to gain as many points as they can from the fixture to ensure they hold onto home advantage throughout the Finals of the competition.

ENGLAND LIONS 1st Innings
A. Lyth c Samuels b Cotterrell 3
J. Adams b Hyatt 11
A. Gale run out (Nash) 17
*J. Hildreth c *Lambert b Dawes 40
+C. Kieswetter b B. Brown 15
J. Taylor lbw b Hyatt 41
B. Stokes c Cotterrell b *Lambert 63
C. Woakes not out 104
J. Harris lbw b Dewar 22
D. Briggs b Cotterrell 3
N. Buck not out 1
Extras (b4, lb4, w2, nb10) 20
TOTAL (9 wkts, 90 overs) 340
Fall of wickets: 1-9, 2-41, 3-41, 4-75, 5-103, 6-161, 7-232, 8-286, 9-303

Bowling: Dawes 17-4-40-1, Cotterrell 16-5-74-2, Hinds 11-1-34-0, Hyatt 10-0-46-2, B. Brown 13-1-59-1, Dewar 13-4-43-1, *Lambert 10-0-36-1

JAMAICA: S. Jackson, D. Hyatt, M. Samuels, B. Nash, *T. Lambert, W. Hinds, A. Dewar, C. Walton, J. Dawes, S. Cotterell, B. Brown

Toss: England Lions
Umpires: V. Bullen, N. Malcolm
Matchreferee: D. Hyles
Reserve umpire: V. Smith