Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
A splendid unbeaten knock of 131 from captain Oraine Williams yesterday guided defending champions Innswood High to first-innings honours over St Jago in their feature Group One ISSA/Grace Shield final round two-day semi-final clash at Chedwin Park.
Innswood, responding to St Jago's first-innings total of 84, closed the day on 301 for three for an overall lead of 217 runs.
The defending champions who entered the game with seven points, one less than St Jago, need only to avoid an outright defeat today to book a place in the final.
"It was a good knock, and I am happy that I was able to do it for the team," said Williams who last season represented Jamaica at the Under-19 level.
The day began with Innswood being handed the toss, after members of the St Jago coaching staff forgot the players' identification cards and had to return to retrieve them. This caused the game to start an hour late.
Innswood inserted St Jago who fell into trouble early at two for seven, and never recovered.
Top bowlers for Innswood were left-arm spinner Stephan Casey, who claimed four for 15, leg-spinner Jermaine Bennett, three for 36, and part-time off-spinner Peat Salmon, two for 15.
St Jago's captain Richard Miller, 29, and Rohan Burrell, 22, made most runs.
An opening stand of 188 between Williams and Salmon, who made 89, laid the foundation for Innswood's score.
Meanwhile, in the round's other key semi-final showdown, Group Two leaders Norman Manley High have all but cemented their place in the final after claiming first innings points from Mona High.
Scores: Mona 106; Norman Manley 431 for six with Kerron Edwards slamming 168.
Meanwhile, at Alpart Sports Club defending Headley Cup champions St Elizabeth Technical (STETHS) appear to have one foot in the final after dominating the opening day's play in the two-day semi-final match-up against York Castle High.
STETHS closed on 241 for nine, after gaining first innings honours from York Castle who were bowled out for a paltry 73 in 34 overs.
The other semi-final to be contested by Vere Technical and Tacky at GC Foster College did not get underway, as expected, yesterday. That encounter is expected to start today at the same venue.