Scorpions secure Super50 semi-final berth
Jamaica Scorpions easily disposed of USA Cricket by 80 runs in their final preliminary match of the Regional Super50 here yesterday but their spot in the semi-finals remained in doubt at press time as English county Kent remained front-runners to take the final berth.
Choosing to bat first at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, Scorpions compiled 259 for eight off their 50 overs, with Trevon Griffith stroking a top score of 80 and all-rounder Fabian Allen hammering an unbeaten 62.
Steven Taylor scored 40 against his former team while left-arm seamer Saurabh Netravalkar claimed four for 45.
Scorpions then bundled out USA for 179 off their 50 overs, despite Jaskaran Malhotra's 70.
Left-arm spinner Chris Lamont (2-17), off-spinner AndrÈ McCarthy (2-33) and pacer Odean Smith (2-39) all picked up two wickets apiece.
Scorpions entered the contest in third position, two points behind Kent on 19 points, and the win saw them assume second position ahead of the county side.
However, a Kent victory over the severely weakened Hurricanes will see them leapfrog Scorpions into the semi-finals.
Scorpions lost captain Chadwick Walton cheaply for 13, lbw to Netravalkar in the fourth over with 28 on the board, but the left-handed Griffith stitched up the innings with two key stands.
He posted 35 for the second wicket with McCarthy (15) before adding a further 88 for the third wicket with Taylor, who counted three fours and two sixes in a brisk 50-ball knock.
Griffith spent 102 balls at the crease and struck 10 fours and two sixes before becoming one of three wickets to fall for four runs, to leave Scorpions 155 for five in the 34th over.
Allen came to his side's rescue, however, punching six fours in a busy 56-ball innings, and anchoring an energetic 56-run, sixth-wicket stand with Alwyn Williams (20).
USA, with six defeats in seven outings, then crashed early to 32 for three before opener Malhotra dug deep to pull his side out of trouble with an innings requiring 106 deliveries and containing four fours and two sixes.
He added 54 for the fourth wicket with skipper Ibrahim Khaleel (29), but once the latter perished in the 25th over, the last seven wickets tumbled for 93 runs. See http://jamaica-gleaner.com/sports for Leeward Islands vs Kent report.