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The Carib Beer International Challenge
- Sunday 28, March-2004
The Carib Beer International Challenge final, thoroughly dominated by Jamaica over the first two days, swung full circle after a remarkable third day comeback by Barbados in which Corey Collymore was at the forefront.
The repeat Cup champions are heartbearts away from repeating their double success of last season.
No praise can be to too high for Courtney Browne and his men.
Ahead by a mere 33 at the start of the day with only five wickets in hand, Barbados managed to set Jamaica a target of 200 on the strength of the efforts of Floyd Reifer, captain Courtney Browne and Collymore, yes, Collymore, a nightwatchman who survived for an hour-and-a-half at the start of the day.
After Barbados transformed their overnight 149 for five to 315 all out, Collymore returned at the end of the day to make more of an impact with the ball as Jamaica wobbled to 69 for six at the close in a sensational two-hour blitz in front of the biggest crowd of the match – somewhere in the region of 90 per cent capacity.
Collymore’s presence at the crease at the beginning was enough to frustrate the Jamaicans.
It eased the pressure on the fighting Reifer, who battled his way to 83, and the free-scoring Browne, who gradually built the lead with a vital eighth wicket partnership of 80.
It was enough to push the target to a workable one against opponents whoo lost to Barbados in the preliminaries after the Cup champions had surrendered first innings’ lead.
Browne, Barbados’ inspirational captain throughout the past two seasons, then pulled another of his big moves from out of the hat and it worked to perfection. His strategic moves always come up trumps.
He entrusted the ball to Collymore ahead of Tino Best and Collymore responded with a killer spell that rocked Jamaica. In nine successive overs, he knocked over Chris Gayle, Maurice Kepple and Keith Hibbert to trigger celebrations around the ground.
They were even wilder scenes outside the ground, on the roof of a house, where about 15 supporters, stationed between two 12-foot high Banks banners, cheered on almost every ball in Jamaica’s innings, jumped all over the place and shouted themselves hoarse.
Just before stumps were drawn, they replaced the Banks banners that were in place for the entire match with a smaller Carib sign.
Collymore’s three wickets were supported by two to Ian Bradshaw with the help of stunning catches.
From the first ball of the last over of the day, a big leg-side deflection by Jamaica’s most assured batsman, Tamar Lambert, was brilliantly caught by Browne swooping low to his left.
And, Kurt Wilkinson’s diving catch at second slip that removed Donovan Pagon was equally stupendous.
It was that type of day for Barbados. They could do nothing wrong.
Collymore started Barbados’ defence of the target with his fifth ball that bounced sharply to Maurice Kepple for a lobbed catch to gully.
The prized scalp followed with the last ball of his fifth over. Delivered from around the wicket, it cut back into Chris Gayle and earned him a lbw verdict with the batsman offering no stroke.
The Jamaica captain was unhappy at the decision, one of several contentious umpiring calls in the match.
Jamaica have virtually pushed a self-destruct button. They did so at the start of the day when they failed to hold on to at least three chances.
They were costly. When Reifer was 20, Odean Brown dropped him at extra-cover. It wasn’t entirely straightforward, but it was a catch you would expect to be taken at this level.
He was also missed when he was 33 and Collymore too was dropped an hour into the day.
All of this happened in the first session in which Barbados eked out a mere 32 runs in 29 overs. More importantly, however, they lost only one wicket and after the break, Reifer grew in confidence and Browne batted with typical fluency.
The Barbados captain stroked five fours and slashed a six over backward point off Andrew Richardson in the first over with the second ball.
Richardson gained his revenge by bowling Browne in the same over, but Reifer extended Barbados’ fight until the post-tea session before he was ninth out.
This was not a typical Reifer display, but he must be commended for his admirable fighting qualities.
Along the way, he was struck on the arm, a blow that induced a raucous appeal from the Jamaicans in an over which tempers flared.
After exactly six hours at the crease in where he faced 246 balls and struck ten boundaries, Reifer was caught at second slip attempting a hook. He missed out on celebrating a hundred.
Today, however, he’s certain to join the whole of Barbados in celebrating their fourth title in two seasons.
BARBADOS 1st Innings 142
JAMAICA 1st Innings 258
BARBADOS 2nd Innings
(overnight 149-5) K. Wilkinson lbw b Richardson 6
M. Nurse c Richardson b Powell 32
S. Campbell lbw b Richardson 49
R. Hinds c wk Baugh b Richardson 25
F. Reifer c Hibbert b Powell 83
D. Smith c wk Baugh b Powell 7
C. Collymore c and b Perry 10
*+C. Browne b Richardson 47
I. Bradshaw run out 17
T. Best c Bernard b Perry 7
P. Collins not out 1
Extras (b8, lb6, w6, nb11) 31
TOTAL (all out, 108.2 overs) 315
Fall of wickets: 1-36 (Wilkinson), 2-41 (Nurse), 3-93 Hinds), 4-137 (Campbell), 5-148 (Smith), 6-174 (Collymore), 7-254 (Browne), 8-307 (Bradshaw), 9-313 (Reifer), 10-315 (Best).
Bowling: Powell 20-3-66-3 (w1, nb1), Richardson 22-3-90-3 (w5, nb5), Gayle 19-5-49-1, Bernard 15-6-30-0, Brown 8-0-29-0 (nb2), Perry 24.2-10-37-2 (nb2).
JAMAICA 2nd Innings
*C. Gayle lbw b Collymore 17
M. Kepple c Hinds b Collymore 1
D. Pagon c Wilkinson b Bradshaw 10
T. Lambert c wk Browne b Bradshaw 21
K. Hibbert c wk Browne b Collymore 0
D. Bernard hit wkt b Collins 7
O. Brown not out 1
Extras (b2, lb3, nb7) 12
TOTAL (6 wkts, 23.1 overs) 69
Fall of wickets: 1-3 (Kepple), 2-33 (Gayle), 3-40 (Pagon), 4-41 (Hibbert), 5-63 (Bernard), 6-69 (Lambert).
Bowling: Collins 8-1-27-1 (nb3), Collymore 8-2-19-3, Best 2-0-15-0, Bradshaw 5.1-4-3-2 (nb1).
Position: Jamaica need another 131 runs to win with four wickets in hand.
Umpires: Basil Morgan (Montserrat), Glenroy Johnson (Grenada). TV replays: Vincent Bullen (Barbados). Reserve official: Dalton Holder (Barbados).
Match referee: Carlyle Carter.
Compliments of the Nation News
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