'A special feeling' - UWI claim first JCA Senior Cup
The University of the West Indies (UWI) copped their first hold on the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) Senior Cup following a dramatic come-from-behind four-run first-innings win over favourites Melbourne CC at Sabina Park yesterday.
UWI, relative newcomers to the league, who were contesting their first final, ended victors after bowling out Melbourne for 295 in their first innings late on the second and final day.
This was in reply to 299 made by the Robert Samuels-coached unit in their first time at bat.
Batting a second time, UWI then closed on 77 for eight.
"It's our first final at this level, and to know that we were able to come out on top is really a special feeling," said UWI captain Paul Palmer.
"We have been working long and hard, and ever since reaching the final of one-day two years ago and losing, we knew that we had what it takes to one day go all the way."
Melbourne, who were losing their second straight final, started the day in pole position at 74 without loss, and led by openers Trevon Griffiths and Stephen Taylor, went to strengthen their position at 118 without loss.
However, bowling with control and variations in flight, off-spinner Akim Fraser found a rhythm, and after dislodging Griffiths and Taylor for 60 and 57, respectively, he went about winning the match for his team.
In the end, the stockily built Fraser, using a somewhat unorthodox bowling style, finished with eight for 95 off 35.4 overs.
Among his victims were Windies batsmen Andre McCarthy, who top scored with 82, Assad Fudadin, eight, and national wicketkeeper Aldaine Thomas, 30.
Melbourne, who, at stages, were in strong positions at 238 for four and 283 for six before falling away, then tried to make a match of the encounter by claiming UWI wickets cheaply in late afternoon.
However, despite a three-for-five runs haul from outstanding fast bowler Oshane Thomas and two wickets apiece by champion spin twin Nikita Miller and Damion Jacobs, UWI was able to keep them at bay.
"We lost wickets at crucial stages of the chase, and that cost us the match," expressed Miller.
"But having said that, credit must go to Fraser, who bowled with consistency, and the UWI team on a whole, who fought all the way through."
UWI, in their creditable first-innings batting display, were led by Palmer, 78, Sadique Henry, 60, Michael Frew 39, Rovman Powell, 34, and Romaine Morris, 33. Miller claimed six for 74.