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January 18, 2011
In a game that was severely affected by rain, Jamaica thrashed Somerset by a whopping 61 runs at the Kensington Oval in Barbados to join Windward Islands and Guyana at the top of the table in Group B.
The match was reduced to six overs per innings after the start of play was delayed by three hours due to rain. Somerset won the toss and decided to bowl. Jamaica promoted Marlon Samuels to open and it was a decision that paid rich dividends as Samuels thrashed the Somerset bowlers all over the park. Samuels and Danza Hyatt blasted 47 runs in three overs, including 14 runs off the first over bowled by Somerset captain Alfonso Thomas. Though Hyatt fell for a breezy nine-ball 21 in the fourth over to Max Waller, Samuels didn't let the momentum shift. He hit four fours and three sixes in his unbeaten 21-ball 45 and was particularly severe on fast bowler Steve Kirby, whose only over went for 21 runs. Shawn Findlay chipped in with a handy 13 off seven balls as Jamaica reached an imposing 85 for 1 off their 6 overs.
Faced with a daunting chase, Somerset's batsmen capitulated right from the first over when Jerome Taylor dismissed Jos Buttler. They lost two wickets in the second over, Nikita Miller picked up two wickets in the fourth over and at that stage Somerset were reeling at 17 for 6. They finally ended up at 24 for 8off their 6 overs; an abject surrender as none of their batsmen managed to reach double figures.
The second game between Windward Islands and Guyana was a more evenly-contested game that Windward won by two runs. Guyana won the toss and chose to field, but it was Windward who got off to a strong start with their openers Johnson Charles and Andre Fletcher slamming 27 runs in three overs before Charles was dismissed. Fletcher top scored with 40 and Keddy Lesporis and captain Darren Sammy chipped in with 26 piece as Windward reached 138 for 8 off their 20 overs.
In reply defending champions Guyana started poorly as left-arm spinner Gary Mathurin who was brought into the attack in the second over, dismissed openers Travis Dowlin and Richard Ramdeen cheaply. Esuan Crandon and captain Ramnaresh Sarwan soon followed and at 36 for 4 in the eight over, Guyana looked in trouble. A 42-run fifth-wicket partnership between Royston Crandon and Steven Jacobs steadied the innings before they feel in quick succession. Christopher Barnwell and Derwin Christian who blasted a 13-ball 40 in Guyana's thrilling two-wicket win over Combined Campuses and Colleges on Jan 14, hit some big shots but some tight bowling from Windward kept them in check as Guyana fell three runs short of their target. Nelon Pascal was the pick of the Windward bowlers with figures of 3 for 23 which included the crucial wickets of Jacobs and Barnwell.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Would he have fared better than the incumbent middle-order batsmen, Root and Ballance?