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QC on the back foot


QC  on the back foot

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TWO-TIME DEFENDING champions Nicholls Baking Combermere gained the upper-hand over Queen’s College on the opening day of the Barbados Cricket Association’s LIME Under-15 three-day final at Kensington Oval yesterday.
Led by a fine all-round performance from captain Shakkae Marshall, Combermere gained a crucial first innings lead of 48 runs when Queen’s College laboured to 105 for nine from 35 overs, in reply to Combermere’s 153 for nine from 35 overs.
At the close, Combermere were one without loss from one over – an overall lead of 53 runs.
Openers Mekhail Marshall and Nico Reifer batted solidly but did not turn over the strike enough. The partnership of 31 was broken in the 12th over when Marshall was stumped off Shakkae Marshall’s first ball for 21.  Reifer spent an hour over his 16 from 53 deliveries with two fours and then drove a catch to extra-cover off Indal Persaud.
One run later, Ajani Waterman picked out Kofie Gilkes at mid-on, also from Persaud, who ended with two for 20 from seven overs. He and fellow off-spinner Marshall were very economical, with Marshall conceding just ten runs from his seven overs, including four maidens, while taking two wickets to follow his top-score of 45.
Shakkae Marshall trapped Ajani Ince lbw as he swept at a full toss, the ball after striking a boundary.
Jamahl Burke topscored for Queen’s College with 27 from 36 balls with two fours but another ten overs of spin kept the pressure on, which resulted in three run-outs.
Earlier, Combermere elected to bat and were in early trouble at 18 for three before they recovered.
In the fifth over of the day, Shian Brathwaite struck two leg-side boundaries with a swing to mid-on and a pull behind square. However, one ball after, left-arm swing bowler Ajani Batson got a delivery to hold its line and induced an edge, and the wicketkeeper did the rest.
In the next over, his opening partner David Scott playing across the line was lbw to medium-pacer Ince while Persuad fell for a “duck” when he steered the fifth ball of the following over from Batson straight to Reifer at second slip.
Marshall and Gilkes steadied the ship, featuring in a very sensible fourth-wicket partnership of 82 in 18.4 overs. Marshall made 45 from 58 balls with two sixes and a four in 79 minutes and Gilkes hit 34, including two fours and one six off 64 deliveries in his 84-minute stay.
Gilkes got things rolling with a sweetly-timed drive for four through cover off Ince and Marshall clipped Burke off the pads for a boundary.
Marshall struck what eventually became the first six of the match. He swung off-spinner Darian Trotman to deep mid-wicket and Kaydoe Miller caught the ball close to the boundary. However, after the umpires consulted together they ruled the fielder had touched the rope.
Trotman also conceded two more sixes, with one each to Gilkes and Marshall. Gilkes pulled a short ball over square-leg and Marshall swung high over midwicket.
Off-spinner Deshon Mayers removed the pair in successive overs. Marshall was neatly stumped as he eased out and Gilkes was caught behind as he nibbled outside off-stump.
Zidan Clarke and Lamar Springer both scored 21 to give the total some respectability in a 34-run partnership for the sixth wicket. Springer lashed one four and a six from 15 balls. Clarke, hitting out, was taken at mid-on off Mayers, who took four for 23 from six overs.
Jabarry Doughlin was brilliantly caught by Zarie Griffith one-handed to his right at short midwicket in the last over from Batson. He was again impressive and claimed three for 20. 
Play continues today at 11 a.m.