Nation e-Edition

Spartan grab two-run lead

MISSED: Empire’s Brandon Best is about to benefit from a chance as Spartan’s Rohan Nurse failed to hold onto a catch at forward short-leg. (HW)

By WAYNE HOLDER at Bank Hall | Sun, May 26, 2013 - 12:01 AM

Two interruptions for rain in the final session, a dropped catch with two wickets remaining and the capture of the ninth wicket with three runs required to tie the scores combined to produce an absorbing contest for first innings honours between arch-rivals ICBL Empire and Super Centre Spartan.

In the end, visitors Spartan prevailed by two runs, dismissing their hosts for 218 in the penultimate over.

Last man Brandon Best edged the fourth delivery of Andre Marshall’s 25th over to be caught by Maradon Bend at slip on the second day of their second round LIME Elite Division match.

Tennyson Roach, who was let off with the score on 212 when Nicholas Carter, stationed on the long on boundary, grassed a straightforward catch off Chaim Holder’s bowling, put on 18 for the tenth wicket with Lemar Mascoll before he was given lbw off the same bowler for 11.

Mascoll, the pillar holding up Empire’s lower order after left-arm spinner Marshall and off-spinner Holder orchestrated a post-tea slide in which three wickets fell for four runs, was left stranded on 20 having taken a single off Marshall’s previous delivery to expose the No. 11 batsman.

With play starting at noon to compensate for time lost, also to rain on the first day, the hosts commenced their reply to Spartan’s first innings 220 in bright sunshine.

Contrastingly, the post-tea session was conducted under overcast skies, with play continuing despite a light shower before the players were eventually forced from the field at 4:14 p.m. with Empire on 191 for seven, still 30 runs adrift of the lead.

Eighth-wicket pair Mascoll and Nikolai Charles had added four runs to their eventual 21-run stand before the second break, which lasted for 21 minutes.

Earlier, opening pair Jason Haynes and Kodi Phillips each made 47 and both benefitted from missed chances by Shane Browne on the way to posting 85 for the first wicket.

Medium pacer Andre Gill (two for 48) made the initial breakthrough when he had the aggressive Phillips caught at midwicket of a miscued pull shot to open the way for the spin duo to make further inroads into the batting.

Haynes and Empire captain Jamal Smith fell to Marshall (four for 74) within four runs of each other, while Holder (four for 71) accounted for Kevin Stoute before Shawn Graham (25) and Roston Chase (27) restored the hosts’ fortunes, adding 50 on either side of the tea interval which was taken with the score 163 for four.

Chase’s dismissal, lbw to Holder, proved to be the turning point that that led to the exhilarating climax in the poor evening light.

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