Caribbean Times 99th Issue - Thursday 16th February 2017

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Caribbean Times 99th Issue - Thursday 16th February 2017

16 c a r i b b e a n t i m e s . a g

Thursday 16th February 2017

Ruthless Scorpions crush Red Force

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Scintillating

maiden hundreds by Chadwick Walton

and Jermaine Blackwood catapulted

Jamaica Scorpions into the Regional

Super50 final with a crushing 292-run

victory over reigning champions Trinidad

and Tobago Red Force, in a lopsided

semi-final under lights last night.

Walton belted 117 from 96 deliveries

and Blackwood, an unbeaten 108 from

88 balls as Scorpions, sent in at Coolidge

Cricket Ground, amassed a record 434

for four off their 50 overs.

All-rounder Rovman Powell smashed

an astonishing 45-ball 95 while lefthander

opener Steven Taylor blasted 88

from 71 deliveries, two innings which

helped propel Scorpions to the highest-ever

total in regional 50 overs cricket

– eclipsing the 409 by Trinidad against

North Windwards 16 years ago.

The total was also the ninth highest in

the history of List A and represented only

the second time a team had passed 400 in

regional competition.

In reply, Red Force never showed

any signs of producing the miracle needed

and were bundled out for an embarrassing

141 off 26.3 overs, slumping to

the fourth heaviest defeat ever in List A

cricket.

Jason Mohammed extended his form

with a fighting run-a-ball unbeaten 62

and captain Denesh Ramdin weighed in

with 27, but Red Force never really recovered

after sliding to 40 for four in the

seventh over.

Powell returned with his varied seam

to destroy the innings with a brilliant

spell of five for 36 and claim the Manof-the-Match

award, while the new-ball

pair of Jerome Taylor (3-27) and Renard

Leveridge (2-31) provided excellent support.

Starting as favourites, Red Force had

the game swiftly taken away from them

as Scorpions stunned them with an exhibition

of astonishing hitting.

The run-spree began in an entertaining

opening stand of 174 between Wal-

Rovman Powell hit 95 off 45 balls

ton and Taylor, was sustained courtesy

of a 95-run second wicket stand between

Blackwood and Walton, and capped off

in a jaw-dropping third wicket partnership

of 163 between Blackwood and

Powell.

The left-handed Taylor gave Scorpions

a flying start, racing to his half-century

in the 11th over off 35 balls. In the

sixth over of the innings, he combined

with Walton to take 25 runs from Ravi

Rampaul’s third over as the seamer

leaked 43 runs from his first three overs.

They raised the 100-run stand in the

12th over and had mustered the highest

opening partnership of the tournament

when Taylor sliced a drive to Kjorn Ottley

at point off off-spinner Jason Mohammed,

to depart in the 22nd over.

All told, the American struck eight

fours and five sixes.

Walton’s fifty, meanwhile, came in

the 13th over off 32 deliveries and he

required only another 52 balls to reach

triple figures in the 32nd over, before falling

lbw to leg-spinner Imran Khan four

overs later after striking nine fours and

and seven sixes.

Powell then joined Blackwood

to ruthlessly rip apart the Red Force

bowling. Blackwood, who counted six

fours and six sixes overall, reached his

half-century off 44 balls with three fours

and four sixes before storming to three

figures off a mere 79 balls.

The right-handed Powell was imperious,

striking six fours and nine giant sixes

as he raced to his fifty off just 25 balls

— reaching the landmark with a six over

mid-wicket off leg-spinner Imran Khan

in the 44th over.

He was within touching distance of

a century when he missed a heave at

Rampaul (2-83) in the final over and was

bowled. Together, Blackwood and Powell

plundered 128 runs from the last ten

overs.

Needing a hasty start, Red Force got

21 off the first two overs before Taylor

and Leveridge crippled the top order with

key strikes.

The dangerous Evin Lewis hit three

fours and a six in 17 before nicking a

booming drive behind off Taylor in the

third over and his opening partner Kyle

Hope followed in the sixth over for 16 at

38 for two, tamely pulling Leveridge to

captain Nikita Miller at mid-wicket.

Three balls later in the same over with

one run added, Leveridge removed Kjorn

Ottley for one to the second of five catches

by wicketkeeper Walton and Taylor

then trapped Nicholas Alexis lbw without

scoring in the next over to leave Red

Force in strife.

Mohammed and Ramdin attempted a

rescue mission by adding 63 for the fifth

wicket, temporarily reviving Red Force’s

hopes. The right-handed Mohammed hit

seven fours and a six while Ramdin gathered

four boundaries, in a partnership

which took Red Force past 100.

However, once Ramdin was caught at

the wicket trying to run one from Powell

to third man in the 18th over, the innings

collapsed spectacularly as Powell clinically

destroyed the lower order to send

the last six wickets tumbling for 39 runs.

(CMC)

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