Title dreams shattered: Hurricanes concede defeat after dramatic declaration against Pride
A bizarre second innings declaration by Leeward Islands Hurricanes captured the headlines and overshadowed a brilliant spell from Jamaica Scorpions pacer Nicholson Gordon in the West Indies Championship on Friday last. The Hurricanes – trailing by 101 on first innings – declared their second innings on 83 for two about 40 minutes after lunch on the second day of their rescheduled fourth round match at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground here, thus conceding defeat and handing Barbados Pride an innings and 18 runs victory. More importantly, Hurricanes’ bid to hold onto second place in the Championship failed, as the result moved the Pride into that position on 134.2 points – a mere 0.2 more than their hosts – who will secure third place, regardless of the outcome in the other match taking place. In that game – Gordon followed up his destruction of the Red Force top-order batting the previous day by leading the demolition of the bottom half, finishing with career-best figures, before the Scorpions’ stayed in contention with defiant batting before stumps were drawn on the second day of their rescheduled first round match at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Trinidad.
Opener Montcin Hodge was not out on 40 – carrying his aggregate for the season to 711 and second only to the 745 of veteran Windward Islands Volcanoes left-hander opener Devon Smith – and Akeem Saunders was not out on five, when the decision to declare was taken.
The Hurricanes had lost Keacy Carty caught at second slip off Marquino Mindley for four in the second over, and almost an hour later, Devon Thomas was caught at first slip off Keon Harding for 21 – and were looking to rebuild before their decision to concede defeat. Earlier, starting the day on 154 for four, the Pride declared their first innings after the first 45 minutes of play Captain Shamarh Brooks finished with the top score of 82 – after resuming on 79 – and overnight partner, WINDIES wicketkeeper/batsman Shane Dowrich was dismissed without adding to his overnight 28. Keon Harding made 21 and was only one of the remaining batsmen that got into double figures, as WINDIES fast bowler Alzarri Joseph ended with 4-28 from 12.5 overs and his captain, champion off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall finished with 3-86 to end with a Championship-high 54 wickets.
Red Force and Scorpions notch up big scores
Gordon claimed three of the last five Red Force scalps – including top-scorer, WINDIES international Jason Mohammed for 94 – to end with an impressive 7-70 from 22 overs. Starting the day on 338 for five, the home team could find little stability from the rest of the batting, after Mohammed was dismissed in the second over of the day. Part-time leg-spinner Nkrumah Bonner brought the innings to a close, when he trapped WINDIES strike bowler Shannon Gabriel lbw for nine, finishing with 2-43 from 10.5 overs. Test batsman Jermaine Blackwood propped up the top order of the Scorpions batting with 66 – his third half-century of the season – and shared the same number for the fourth wicket with Guyanese left-hander Assad Fudadin. But the visitors stumbled to 187 for five and required a stand of 81 – unbroken – between Bonner, not out on 42, and Brandon King to beef up their total. King fell for 59 in the four overs before the close, as Gabriel and new-ball partner Anderson Phillip ended the day with two scalps apiece.