Miller magic - Spinner leads Scorpions to win over Volcanoes
Jamaica Scorpions, on the back of a Man-of-the-Match bowling performance from spinner Nikita Miller, registered a close 30-run win over Windward Islands Volcanoes inside three days of their WICB First-Class Championship clash at Sabina Park yesterday.
The ever-reliable Miller, who claimed four for 67 in the first innings, returned on the third day to take five for 46 in the second, as the Windwards set a modest victory target of 175, and were bowled out for 145.
The victory, however, was not smooth, as after resuming the day on five without loss, Jamaica had to rally from 25 for seven, before being dismissed for 128 in their second innings.
This was to go with 259 made in their first innings to which the Volcanoes had responded with 212.
"It was a good team effort, and hats off to the bowlers, they got the job done for us," surmised Paul Palmer, captain of Jamaica.
"We were in a spot, and thanks to Miller and John Campbell, and the others, we were able to stick to the task."
Starting the day with a lead of 52 runs, the Scorpions were put on the back foot from early with the score on eight for two, following the dismissal of overnight batsmen Palmer and Campbell, who made three and five, respectively.
Campbell, who was caught behind off the bowling of off-spinner Shane Shillingford, was the first to go after adding three to his overnight two, while Palmer, in the very next over, was caught at slip off the bowling of fast bowler Mervin Matthew with no addition to his overnight score.
It was a shaky beginning, which eventually had a ripple effect on the rest of the top-order batsman, who, too, struggled against the bustling Matthew, and the clever Shillingford.
First innings topscorer Andre McCarty, went for two; Kirk Edwards, caught in the slips for five; and Brandon King, also caught at bat pad for four, all came and went in quick succession to leave the score on 19 for five.
This then brought the experienced duo of wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh Jr and all-rounder David Bernard Jr to the crease, however, not even they could stop the slide.
Bernard Jr, with the score on 22, played outside his off stump, and was caught behind for one off Matthew and three runs later, Baugh Jr was dismissed in a similar manner for four.
Thanks to a 76-run eight-wicket stand between Miller and leg-spinner Damion Jacobs, however, the lower order was able to put up resistance, which gave Jamaica a fighting total to bowl at.
Calling up on his years of experience at the first-class level, Miller chose his shot selections wisely and ended up making 39, while Jacobs hit a top score of 40.
Matthew ended with five for 31, while Shillingford, who entered the match with 11 wickets, claimed five for 57 to move his tournament leading tally to 17 wickets.
Miller, however, who opened the bowling, ensured that Jamaica had the last laugh with only three Windwards batsmen going pass double figures in the runs chance.
They were opener Devon Smith, 50; wicketkeeper-batsman Sunil Ambris, 40; and Dalton Polius, 26.
Part-time off-spinner Campbell took two for 15.
"We really only have ourselves to blame for the defeat," expressed Windwards captain, Liam Sebastien.
"At 25 for seven, we dropped too many catches with Jacobs, I believe getting about four chances."
"However, having said that, we were asked to get 175, which was a comfortable position, and we let it slip."