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Monday 24, January-2005

Daren Powell during his four-wicket spell. Daren Powell during his four-wicket spell.

by Haydn Gill
AT WINDWARD CRICKET CLUB – “It was very, very poor. To say that it was poor would be paying it a compliment because deep down inside, I think it was poorer than that as far as the batting was concerned.”

Nothing more needs to be said.

Hendy Springer didn’t beat around the bush. The coach was blue vex after Barbados slumped to a second successive loss in the Carib Beer Series yesterday, a defeat in which his mediocre batsmen must accept full responsibility.

Jamaica won by ten runs to maintain a 100 per cent winning record, but the fact that Barbados were able to get close to a modest target of 158 should not be a credit to the double-crown defending champions who remain bottom-of-the-table.

Defiant Kurt Wilkinson, in association with the fighting Patrick Browne, the hit-or-miss Ryan Hurley, and the commonsense approach of Corey Collymore and Jason Bennett, gave hometown fans some hope, but by then the die had been cast.

The setback of losing the first four wickets for the loss of only seven runs was too much to overcome and Barbados were all out for 147 at 5:30 p.m on the penultimate day.

Showing tremendous resolve, a sound temperament and the occasional touch of quality strokeplay, Wilkinson crafted 61 in more than four hours of diligent batting before gifting his hand from a full-toss to which he could only pat to mid-on.

His seventh-wicket stand of 49 with Browne, who battled almost two hours for 21 and his seventh-wicket partnership of 42 with the reckless Hurley, kept Barbados in the match.

When Wilkinson was ninth out after negotiating 183 balls, 18 runs were still required and although Collymore and Bennett played straight and each ball on his merit, it was asking a lot of them.

Jamaica eventually condemned Barbados to defeat when fast bowler Daren Powell finished an outstanding match in which he took eight wickets – four in each innings – and made a career-best, face-saving 56 that ensured he was Sherlon Greaves’ choice as Man-Of-The-Match.

While the quality of the bowling was of a decent standard, once more some of the batsmen were culpable of irresponsible strokes, none moreso than opener Martin Nurse and Hurley.

Hurley, a shot-a-ball machine, hammered 27 that contained two sixes, one over extra-cover and a hooked six over backward square, both hitting a jeep beyond the boundary. Too many times he attempted reckless cross-batted strokes, the last of which he tried to cart down to Six Roads off Jerome Taylor.

It was inevitable he would be bowled. As soon as he did, Taylor left the field as a result of some stiffness.

The tone for the innings was set from Ball 1.

No one knows what Nurse was thinking about. His nondescript attempt to clear mid-on suggests that he wasn’t. It was a horrific stroke that deserved a small cut from his match fee.

More nonsense followed when Dale Richards’ miscued pull seemed a certain catch for either of two fielders on the on-side in front of the wicket.

Nikita Miller’s inexplicable spill offered only temporary relief, but the Jamaicans realised that Richards had strayed out of his ground and took the opportunity to break the stumps at the ’keeper’s end.

It was the fifth time in three innings that one of Barbados’ players went by the run-out route.

There was still debate about the running between the wickets when Powell stunned Barbados with a double-strike.

Skipper Sherwin Campbell, back when he should have been forward, was palpably lbw, and Powell then produced a beauty to Dwayne Smith. It pitched and moved away from the right-hander, who snicked it to the ’keeper.

What drama it was. Four wickets down, seven runs on the tins. It was the second time in successive innings that there was such a clatter of wickets at the start. Instead of a first-class match, the casual observer might have believed it was an Intermediate division contest between Windward and King’s Park.

The slide was halted briefly with Wilkinson and Shawn Graham trying to stave off the rampaging Jamaicans who were once more celebrating half-hour after lunch.

Graham, whose place in the side will be under threat following a fourth successive failure, gave a catch to forward short-leg off Powell after Jamaica captain Tamar Lambert had placed the fielder.

It was Powell’s third wicket and continued his remarkable match. At the start of the day, he arrived at his first half-century at first-class level when he and Nikita Miller extended their ninth eighth-wicket partnership to 82.

Powell was last out, gloving a leg-side catch off Collymore, who finished with four for 19 off 12 overs. The other wicket went to Bennett to give him an outstanding return of six for 46 and a match haul of ten for 82.

Bennett and Collymore didn’t deserve to be on a losing side. The same can’t be said for most of their teammates.

Compliments of the Nation News


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