Blackwood leads Scorpions to commanding position
Middle-order batsman Jermaine Blackwood hit the seventh highest individual score by a regional batsman, as his double century saw the Jamaica Scorpions zoning in on a win against the Leeward Islands Hurricanes, following day three action in Antigua
Blackwood’s mammoth 248 helped the visitors to pile up a whopping 561 for 9, replying to the Hurricanes’ 260 first-innings score. When stumps were drawn, the Hurricanes, batting a second time, were in trouble at 134 for 6, still trailing by 167 runs.
Undoubtedly, all the plaudits belonged to the diminutive Blackwood, who continued his rich vein of form on day three, having resumed on 196 with captain John Campbell on 105.
The pair would add another 22 runs in the morning before Campbell went caught behind off Kian Pemberton for 112 with the score on 435 for five.
By that time, Blackwood had brought up his first double century, as the Scorpions continued their free-scoring thanks to some less than inspiring bowling from the Leewards attack.
West Indies pacer Alzarri Joseph would, however, show his class, as he dug deep and picked up the wickets of Denis Smith for 11 and Deval Green for 16.
After pushing the Scorpions past the 500 mark, Blackwood would eventually be the eight-wicket to fall, as he tried to get to the landmark of 250 with a lofted drive. However, he was caught in the deep by Joseph off Terrance Ward for a masterful 248 with a whopping 32 fours and two sixes.
A cameo unbeaten knock of 50 not out from Jamie Merchant ensured that the Scorpions recorded the highest total of the season, as they declared on 561 for nine, for a massive lead of 301.
With runs on the board to play with, captain John Campbell immediately went on the attack, and that ploy bore fruit with the Hurricanes on 37 as Kieran Powell was caught behind off Mindley for 17.
Ross Powell came in and played a few handsome strokes. However, the introduction of off-spinner Jamie Merchant started the slide for the hosts, who began to lose wickets at regular intervals.
Merchant first sent back Powell for 19 then picked up two other wickets thereafter as the Hurricanes were in tatters at 96 for six.
Derval Green chipped in with two wickets of his own. However, Montcin Hodge with an unbeaten 60 and Hayden Walsh 18 remain the only hope for the Hurricanes who ended the day on 134 for 6, still needing 167 runs to avoid an innings defeat.