Innswood post challenging first innings total
Richard Bryan, Gleaner Writer
Corporate Area cricket champions, Innswood High, defied the projections of home town favourites and rural area champions, St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS), to post a respectable 285 (90 overs) after being sent in, on the first day of the Spalding Cup final at STETHS yesterday.
With STETHS openers Sheldon Samuels and Desmond Jones batting untroubled for half an hour to post 26 without loss after seven overs, a competitive challenge for first innings honours may still be on the cards.
Donovan Nelson, a national Under 19 legspinner, was the day's top performer after bowling a marathon spell of 38 overs, but being richly rewarded with eight wickets at a cost of 91 runs. In fact, he accounted for the first five wickets a in 28-over spell broken only by lunch.
However, the Innswood batting performance provided a lasting impression on the partisan crowd, as their top three batsmen - captain Oraine Simpson (67), Peat Salmon (60) and Kemar Foster (79), delivered on the high expectations they carried from dominating the two Corporate Area competitions their school won this season.
The opening act of Williams and Salmon defied the home team's bowling for two hours to reach 112 before the loss of their first wicket.
They stole the bragging rights early, attacking the opening pair of Nicholson Gordon and Damion Reid. In fact, Gordon's three overs went for 23 runs before he was taken off, while 34 came from Reid's spell of six overs. Both ended wicketless and were re-introduced briefly, but unsuccessfully after 60 overs.
Going to lunch at 128 for one, a seemingly grand platform for greater progress was set when they reached 149. As was a feature of play, they lost wickets after each water or innings break.
STETHS hit back after lunch with a middle-order collapse of five wickets for 31 runs.
Foster, an attractive right hand batsman with obvious strength on the offside, held the bottom half of the innings together, facing nearly 200 balls until he was last out off Nelson.
With two other main spinners - Cassius Burton Jr. and Horaine Linton - failing to provide effective support for Nelson, Brian Gayle, who kept wicket for the first two sessions, was introduced after tea to break a half-century partnership between Foster and Terrence Brown (13) as Innswood recovered to 235 for five. His spell of 10 overs yielded two crucial wickets.