Garrison’s Gaskin snaps up six
by PHILIP HACKETTA SIX-WICKET haul from off-spinner Theo Gaskin justified the Garrison Secondary’s decision to invite The Lodge School to bat first on the opening day of the LIME Under-15 final at Wildey yesterday. Gaskin took six for 33 off 19 overs as Lodge folded for 106 on an easy-paced pitch just before the scheduled tea break. By the close of play Garrison, making a cautious reply, had reached 50 for three off 28 overs. While Gaskin did the bulk of the damage it was the Garrison captain Jafari Toppin, a right-arm medium-fast bowler, who struck the initial blow in just the third over, when he had Karrem Drakes caught at the wicket by Hakeem Gomez with the score on one.
Lodge eked out just 12 runs off the next ten overs before Gaskin orchestrated a major collapse. He picked up the wickets of Reshawn Harding, Shomari Taylor and Reshawn Bovell in quick succession as three wickets tumbled for just three runs to leave Lodge shakily placed at 16 for four. Jamar Bovell and the captain Tarik Shorey tried to rebuild the innings in a fifth-wicket stand that yielded 22. Gaskin broke the partnership with the help of a smart stumping by Hakeem Gomez that brought Bovell’s downfall as Lodge plunged deeper into trouble at 38 for five. Lodge went to lunch at 52 for five and after the interval the left-handed Shorey purposefully mixed attack with defence as he mounted a rescue operation in association with the right handed Desean Miller.
Shorey, who played a lovely drive to the long-off boundary, added 26 with Miller for the sixth wicket. The stand ended when Shekiah Harris made a direct hit at the non-striker’s end from wide mid-off to beat Miller’s dive as he attempted a single. When off-spinner Darius Jones replaced the tall, slimly built off-spinner Gaskin, Shorey punished a short delivery by pulling it square for four. Shorey responded brilliantly to the crisis facing his team and it took an equally stupendous effort to remove him as Harris pulled off a stunning catch diving forward just inside the square-leg boundary as Shorey tried to repeat the boundary of the previous delivery.
Shorey’s 44 came off 68 balls in 90 minutes and included four boundaries. The plucky Lodge lower order added 33 for the last three wickets to lift the score beyond 100, reaching the mark in 180 minutes off 49.2 overs. Left-hander Hakeem Gomez and right-hander Shaquana Callender started Garrison’s reply in enterprising fashion with 22 runs coming off the first four overs. Gomez warmed up in the first over from Shorey with a well played square cut for four. Callender matched him with a cover drive to the boundary in the same over.The introduction of left-arm spinner Shomari Taylor put a halt to the score and broke the opening stand when Gomez was stumped by Harding.
Stefan Estwick was bowled first ball, leaving Garrison’s key batsman Jafari Toppin to face the hat-trick delivery. Toppin nonchalantly swept the full-toss served up by Taylor for four but Taylor had the last laugh just before stumps when Toppin chipped a catch straight to short mid-wicket where Romario Brathwaite took the catch. Taylor has so far taken three for 16 off 12 overs.