Bernard hits top form against Ireland
Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
Sidelined West Indies all-rounder David Bernard Jr demonstrated why he is rated as one of the best all-rounders in the region when he smashed 102 against ICC World Twenty20 championship-bound Ireland on Day One of their three-day Supreme Ventures Betting-sponsored Jamaica Cricket Festival clash at Chedwin Park yesterday.
Coming in with his team in a precarious position of 115-4, Bernard, who was named among the West Indies squad of 30 for the upcoming West Indies Twenty20 championship but did not make the final 15, hit 10 scintillating fours and a six in his knock, which lasted 165 balls.
It was the 28-year-old's fourth first-class century and the innings put Jamaica in a comfortable position heading into today's second day. Winning the toss and choosing to bat, Jamaica were all out for 339 just before stumps were drawn.
Ireland to reply
Ireland will begin their reply today.
"I always challenge myself to play consistently good cricket, and today was just one of those efforts," said Bernard.
"It was a good batting track, and first I tried to get a good start. Scoring a hundred is not my ultimate goal, as there are more games to come in the series. I just want to be consistent and keep myself in shape so that if I am called up for the Twenty20 championship I am ready," he added.
Bernard's innings was the foundation of Jamaica's total with captain Tamar Lambert, 68, opener Danza Hyatt, 55, and Brenton Parchment, 31, also making valuable contributions at different stages.
Hyatt and Parchment first shared in a quick, positive opening stand of 56, which initially put the Irish on the back foot.
This start was then consolidated by a 134-run sixth-wicket stand between Lambert and Bernard, who took the score to 254 before Jamaica lost their fifth wicket.
"They came out hard and played some positive cricket, especially in the first session. But we kept things in check and came back towards the end. We are looking forward to getting a bat tomorrow," said Ireland captain William Porterfield.
Pacer Peter Connell took most wickets for the visitors, claiming 4-77.
Jamaica had earlier handed 18-year-old leg-spinner Akeem Dewar his first cap and left out young batsmen John-Ross Campbell and Nkrumah Bonner from their squad of 13.
Ireland will participate in the same group as the West Indies and England during the Twenty20 championship, which will begin on April 30 in Guyana and end on May 16 in Barbados.