Windies ‘A’ almost let game slip
FLORENCE HALL – West Indies “A” nearly squandered what should have been an easy win, losing a handful of wickets before limping over the line to win the opening four-day cricket “Test” against England Lions here yesterday.
Resuming at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium on 31 for one with a mere 75 runs required to reach the victory target of 106, the hosts made their way safely to 51 without further loss before suffering a sudden capitulation to lose seven wickets for 47 runs.
Suddenly tottering on 98 for eight and with defeat a real possibility, Windies “A” were rescued by all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall, who held his nerve to end on 14 not out and see them to a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Captain Kieran Powell, unbeaten on 16 overnight, top-scored with 30, and while Vishaul Singh (18) and Shamarh Brooks (16) got starts, they failed to carry on, leaving the innings compromised.
Brooks and Vishaul put on 23 for the fourth wicket which took Windies “A” to 80 for three but their dismissals triggered a slide that saw five wickets fall for 18 runs.
Left-arm spinner Jack Leach was the main destroyer, adding four wickets to his one from overnight to end with five for 26 while leg-spinner Liam Livingstone picked up two for 55.
Left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican was named Man-of-the-Match for his eight-wicket haul and unbeaten 71, batting at number 10 in the first innings.
Warrican had scythed through England Lions with a devastating seven-wicket haul on Tuesday, to set up the eventual victory for West Indies “A”.
Trailing by 27 runs on first innings, the Lions coasted to 60 for one at tea before collapsing for 132 all out in their second innings on the penultimate day.
The slide was engineered by the 25-year-old Warrican who picked up seven for 33 – his 12th first-class five-wicket haul.
Haseeb Hameed top-scored with 39 while Joe Clarke got 31 but England Lions never came to grips with the spin duo of Warrican and off-spinner Cornwall, who claimed three for 55.
Earlier, Shane Dowrich completed his fifth first-class hundred as the hosts, resuming on 232 for eight in their first innings, frustrated the tourists before they were bowled out for 279.
The right-handed Dowrich, unbeaten on 90 overnight, made 119 from 222 deliveries in just over 5-1/2 hours, and struck 10 fours and a six.
Warrican, resuming on 54, ended unbeaten on 71 – an innings which consumed 182 balls and a shade under 3-3/4 hours, and inlcuded two fours and a six. Together, they extended their ninth wicket partnership to 161 before being separated.
The second “Test” bowls off Sunday at Sabina Park. (CMC)