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Bonner saves day for CCC

Wayne Holder

Bonner saves day for CCC

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All-rounder Nkrumah Bonner enjoyed the best day of his short regional cricket career to help Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) earn an honorable draw as the fourth series match of the regional four-day tournament concluded at the 3W’s Oval yesterday.
The 22-year-old Jamaican, in only his sixth first class  match, followed up bowling figures of 4 wickets for 27 runs (four wickets for three runs yesterday) with a career-best 72 as he and fellow Jamaican, debutant Shacaya Thomas, staged a match-saving 99-run sixth wicket partnership in CCC’s second innings 204-7.
Already in a strong position having resumed at 168 for no loss, a lead of 213, the visiting Lions had earlier set their hosts an improbable 302 to win in a minimum 70 overs after declaring their second innings at 256-7.
Bonner, a former West Indies Under-19 player who is currently enrolled at the Sagicor High Performance Centre at the 3 W’s Oval,  grabbed four wickets in six deliveries as the Englishmen sought to score rapidly in the quest to force an outright win in the top-of-the-table clash.
The pugnacious opening stand between Craig Keiswetter and James Adams, 102 and 56 respectively at the start, only lasted until the final delivery of the day’s first over before the former, advancing out of his crease to left-arm spinner Kavesh Kantasingh, was left stranded to be easily stumped by CCC wicketkeeper Kyle Corbin after adding a single to his overnight score.
The runs continued to flow despite Kantasingh removing Man of The Match Adams for 72 and Lions skipper Andrew Hildreth with the lead on 272.
Right-arm legs-pinner Bonner took a wicket with his third, fifth and sixth deliveries and although failing to accomplish a coveted hat-trick, struck again with the eighth as four wickets tumbled for the addition of three runs, forcing Hildreth to call a halt to the innings after 17 overs.
The hosts went to lunch on five for no loss but ran into trouble immediately after the interval when medium pacer James Harris removed captain Omar Phillips and leading run scorer Corbin, both lbw, with successive deliveries.
Veteran Romel Currency averted the hat-trick but the Lions would still have fancied their chances when the fifth wicket, that of Raymon Reifer, fell with only 81 runs on the board and plenty of time left.
Right-handed debutant Thomas, who preceded his countryman at the crease by just two balls, adopted the sheet-anchor role to the free-scoring Bonner in the repair effort, although when he (Thomas) departed 28 overs later the “students” were still not out of danger of defeat.
Bonner’s first half-century on the regional stage contained 10 fours from 91 balls in 112 minutes batting.
Barbadian new-ball bowlers Carlos Brathwaite and Kevin McClean completed the job started by the Jamaican duo, playing out the last 10 overs as the
England ‘A’ outfit, joint leaders with CCC and Jamaica at the start of the match, pressed for full points until the end.