Wickets tumble at Bank HallSUPERB INNINGS: BDFSP batsman Antonio Greenidge scored an unbeaten 120 against Carlton at Paragon. (Kenmore Bynoe)
By HAYDN GILL at Bank Hall | Sun, July 08, 2012 - 12:04 AM
ICBL EMPIRE dramatically conceded first innings lead at the start of the day, but another BNB St Catherine collapse has set up the possibility of an exciting finish today.
For the second successive day, 16 wickets fell on another bowler-friendly surface and when stumps were drawn Empire, set 143 to complete a second straight come-from-behind victory, were 82 for three.
At the beginning, Empire lost their last three first innings wickets for one run, slumping from 104 for seven to 105 all out in response to St Catherine’s 107, but the St Catherine batsmen again failed to come to terms with a grassy pitch that offered appreciable bounce and were shot out for 140 in their second innings.
Empire, one of three teams in a distant second place to Sagicor UWI, owed their fightback to four-wicket hauls by seamers Kevin Stoute and Jared Bernadin and successive partnerships of 48 and 34 that both involved Roston Chase.
On a pitch that was never comfortable for batting, St Catherine struggled outside a sixth-wicket partnership of 49 between Shamar Cooke (37) and captain Derick Bishop (29), the pair providing hope of setting a more challenging total after linking up at 77 for five.
With both falling in successive overs, there was a slide in which the last five wickets fell for 14. Bishop sliced a drive to point off Bernadin, while Cooke was undone by a ball from Stoute that bounced more than he bargained for but he left the playing area showing disappointment with the decision given against him.
Empire have depended more on their spinners this season but with the pitch more suited to the faster stuff, they turned to their seamers, who shared nine wickets.
Stoute, who first struck by uprooting Ahmed Proverbs’ off stump, finished with four for 23 in 11 overs, while Bernadin took four for 26 in 12 overs.
As the pitch improved late in the day, Empire progressed towards their target on the back of Chase’s unbeaten 32, opener Jason Haynes’ 25 and Stoute’s 21 not out.
Two quick wickets before Stoute’s entry made it an open contest but Empire will feel they are in a position to achieve their second straight victory, the previous against CGI Maple also coming after conceding first innings lead.
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