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Bulli's heroics help JDF hold out for Senior Cup

Published:Monday | August 18, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Dennis Bulli ... was outstanding with bat and ball. - Ian Allen/Staff Photographer

Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer

A Man-of-the-Match performance from left-arm wrist spinner Dennis Bulli carried the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) to first-innings honours over Kingston and with it the Jamaica Cricket Association Senior Cup title.

Bulli, who claimed six for 65 to help bowl out Kingston for 196 on day one, returned to make 52 while sharing an invaluable last-wicket stand - of 56 with fast bowler Leonard Leverage - that took the soldiers to 218, the defining first-innings lead.

Kingston, batting a second time on the second and final day at Sabina Park yesterday, then posted a relatively quick 215 for six declared in an attempt to force an outright result.

Stood firm

However, thanks to the in-form Rasheed Outar, who got 64, and Bulli, who ended not out on zero after batting for 37 minutes and facing 30 balls, the JDF stood firm to end on 126 for eight in fading light.

"I am really elated that we were able to come out on top," said JDF captain Damion Grey, who along with his teammates were hoisted by supporters after the game.

"It was a spirited performance by the team, but none moreso than Bulli, who stood up for us in both innings and ensure that we crossed the line."

Resuming in a bothersome position of 142 for six, the army men were jolted when they lost three quick wickets to fall to 162 for nine, still 35 runs adrift.

However, Bulli, who hit two sixes and six fours while palming the lion's share of the strike, and Leverage, who ended on three not out, ensured that they not only crossed the line, but also secured a 22-run lead.

Recognising that only an outright win could land them the title, Kingston then pressed for runs, and courtesy of 92 - which included six sixes and five fours - from in-form batsman Brandon King, they were able to set the JDF a victory target of 194, 15 minutes before the tea interval.

Leading wicket-taker

Despite the efforts of the tournament's leading wicket-taker, left-arm spinner Paul Harrison, who claimed of four for 20; and two for 30 from teenage off-spinner Akeem Fraser, the Tigers could not get the final two wickets needed to complete a remarkable comeback victory.

"It was a well-fought game for us, albeit we came out on the losing end," reflected King.

"After a less than ideal first innings batting display, we came back well towards the end, but just could not pull it off.

"But congrats to the JDF, they were the better team over the two days," said King.

The JDF earned $1 million to go along with the title, while Kingston took home $500,000.