#WICHAMPS: SCORPIONS STUN JAGS, AS PRIDE WIN, FIRST DRAW OCCURS
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Newcomer Akim Frazer was the hero for the Jamaica Scorpions, as they dealt a huge blow to Guyana Jaguars’ confidence and their bid to wrap up their fifth straight title in the key result of the eighth round of matches in the West Indies Championship which ended on Sunday.
Frazer, a 23-year-old off-spinner, earned the Player-of-the-Match award, after taking eight wickets in the match to spur the Scorpions to an eight-wicket victory over the Jaguars in their contest at Sabina Park.
At the same time – Test left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican too, earned the Player-of-the-Match award, as he grabbed 11 wickets for Barbados Pride against Windward Islands Volcanoes in a 23-run victory at the Arnos Vale Sports Complex.
And, Leeward Islands Hurricanes and Trinidad & Tobago Red Force played to the first draw of the season in a high-scoring contest at Warner Park.
Jaguars (158 & 138) beat Scorpions (139) & 158-2 by eight wickets in Kingston Jamaica
Frazer took 4-69 from 23 overs, as the Jags were dismissed before tea in the first innings on the first day of the contest.
Sent in, Jaguars never found momentum after they slipped to 44 for three and suffered from a lack of partnerships, as Anthony Bramble hit the top score of 36, Vishaul Singh got 27 and captain Leon Johnson added 24.
A four-wicket burst from Clinton Pestano led a fight-back for the Jags before stumps were drawn on the first day and fellow fast bowler Romario Shepherd followed up with a three-wicket haul on the second morning to give the visitors a narrow edge.
But Test fast bowler Jerome Taylor grabbed 4-26 from 13 overs and Frazer snared 4-65 from 16 overs, as the Jags suffered a second batting meltdown, with Bramble again leading the way with 34, Johnson making 31 and Raymon Reifer adding 22.
Chasing 159 for victory, Scorpions were slumping at 15 for two in the third over before Test batsman Jermaine Blackwood, not out on 72, and Brandon King, not out on 66, came together in an unbroken, third-wicket stand of 143 to lift their side to their third win of the campaign.
Pride (215 & 192) beat Volcanoes (138 & 246) by 23 runs in Kingstown, St. Vincent
Warrican made his presence felt from the opening day of the match, when he removed the prolific Devon Smith and defiant Kavem Hodge before the close, after the Pride were rolled over just after tea following their decision to bat.
Tevyn Walcott had earlier struck his second half-century in his three innings when he carved out a polished 66 to rescue the visitors.
Warrican finished off the demolition job the next day, ending with 8-45 from 25.5 overs, his second eight-wicket haul of the season in only his third match, to give the Pride a tidy first innings lead.
In their second turn at the crease, the cream of the Pride’s batting again failed, but 53 from left-handed opener Shayne Moseley and 44 from Warrican, batting at eight, kept the visitors’ noses in front.
Pride appeared under pressure, when Hodge led a strong top-order response to the victory chase for the Volcanoes with a typically resolute 66.
But Test fast bowler Miguel Cummins took 4-53 from 17 overs and Warrican supported 3-88 from 40.2 overs, as the Volcanoes slumped from 181 for three at stumps on the third day and lost their last seven wickets for 64 on the final day.
Hurricanes (365 & 315-6 dec) drew with Red Force (329) & 236-4 in Basseterre, St. Kitts
Terence Warde led four batsmen that collected half-centuries, as Hurricanes recovered from a shaky start to post a strong first innings total.
Warde hit the top score of 83, Test hopeful Jahmar Hamilton made 68, Devon Thomas added 67 and Rahkeem Cornwall got 62, as the Hurricanes stumbled to 14 for two in the first hour, following the cheap dismissal of their two openers.
Left-arm spinner Khary Pierre was the pick of the Red Force bowlers with 4-110 from 44 overs and part-time leg-spinner Yannic Cariah took 3-25 from 14 overs.
Imran Khan hit 86 and fellow Red Force veteran Jason Mohammed got 60, as the visitors restricted the Hurricanes to a narrow first innings lead.
Cornwall and WINDIES fast bowler Alzarri Joseph took three wickets apiece to lead the Hurricanes bowling.
Another strong batting performance led by 94 from Devon Thomas, 77 from Hamilton and 57 from opener Montcin Hodge allowed Hurricanes to declare their second innings after lunch on the final day and leave the Red Force with a highly improbable, if not impossible target of 352 for victory.
The Red Force batsmen were still positive in their approach, scoring at over four runs an over, as opener Joshua Da Silva hit 75 and veteran Lendl Simmons made 59 before play was called off.
(After the eighth round of matches)
1 Jaguars 117.2 points
2 Hurricanes 93.4
3 Pride 90.6
4 Volcanoes 80
5 Scorpions 76.4
6 Red Force 67.4
Ninth round of matches: Thursday, February 28 to Sunday, March 3 – Scorpions vs Hurricanes at Sabina Park; Jaguars vs Pride at the Guyana National Stadium; Volcanoes vs Red Force at the Arnos Vale Sports Complex