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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.
Compliments of the Barbados Nation News
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