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Warrican makes Wanderers weep

Philip Hackett at Dayrells Road

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Left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican sparked a dramatic collapse to claim six wickets as ICBL Empire defeated Counterpoint Wanderers by an innings and two runs shortly before tea yesterday in their LIME Elite seventh series cricket match.

Warrican took six for 30 to complete match figures of 10 for 108 as Wanderers limped to 82 all out in 31.1 overs after trailing on first innings by 84 runs to give Empire their sixth consecutive win.

Wanderers scored 226 all out in their first innings to which Empire replied with 310 for six, declaring on the overnight score.

Jonathan Drakes (11) and opener Shayne Moseley (41), seemed to be consolidating effectively after Wanderers slipped to 28 for two in their second innings but when the third-wicket partnership reached 33 Drakes was dismissed by Warrican for 11. The dismissal sent the innings into terminal decline as eight wickets tumbled for 21 runs.

Left-arm spinner Ryan Hinds provided the main support for Warrican with two wickets for five runs off his seven overs.

Warrican’s fourth five-wicket haul for the season has pushed his tally to 39 wickets and taken Empire a step closer to capturing the Elite division title in their 100th anniversary year.

The Bank Hall club have won all of their matches played so far and with 19 points from this match have raced to 108 points.

With three series remaining, including the rescheduled opening round, Empire will feel confident of lifting the trophy to highlight their already elaborate celebrations that included a recent tour to England.

Empire’s dominance on the final day was typical of their performance this season and the relatively easy nature of the win did not surprise captain Jamal Smith.

“Based on the nature of the pitch yesterday [Saturday], I always felt we would have done well,” he told NATIONSPORT.

“It was flaking and turning. Jomel [Warrican] only needed a bit of assistance and unlike the first day when it was flat, there was turn,” Smith explained.

“We decided to push for 300 runs and put them under pressure. We felt that would make it difficult for them to play Jomel and the other bowlers.”

Smith said that the overseas tour was taken into account during their planning.

“I told the guys we have four matches before the tour and we have to win each one. The reserves did an excellent job when we were away, so we set ourselves the goal of trying to win all our matches.

“I set the bar high at 20 points per game. Obviously, you’ll fall a bit short of that but we are not just playing for points, we are playing to win every game,” Smith said.