Ireland fight back after Bernard hundred
Close Ireland 23 for 1 (Stirling 10*, N O'Brien 11*) trail Jamaica 339 (Bernard 102, Connell 4-77) by 316 with nine wickets remaining
David Bernard produced a workman-like 102 off 165 balls for Jamaica to leave the hosts in a competitive position against Ireland in the opening day of their three-day Jamaica Cricket Festival clash at Chedwin Park.
Bernard struck 10 fours and a six in his knock that lasted 202 minutes while getting support from Tamar Lambert (68) and Danza Hyatt (55) against Peter Connell who bagged 4 for 77 off his 11.5 overs. It was an elegant innings but Bernard was lucky to survive when he was dropped off spinner Paul Stirling when on 34. He punished the tourists, completing his century in just over two hours. Earlier, captain Lambert secured his half century with a measured shot over long off after a patient build-up.
Ireland were made to work hard in the field, on a pitch that offered little for the bowling team. The visitors did however experience early success with Brenton Parchment being the first to go for the Jamaicans after he was caught by Trent Johnston on 31 off the bowling of Kevin O'Brien with the score on 56.
Donovan Pagon (21) and Hyatt pushed the score to 104 before the former fell to the bowling of Andre Botha; Johnston again providing the safe hands for the catch. The Jamaicans added 11 runs for their next two wickets with Hyatt and Horace Miller (4) falling in quick succession to leave the hosts precariously poised on 115 for 4 shortly after lunch.
Lambert and Bernard then steadied the ship with a partnership of 139 for the fifth wicket, but Jamaica collapsed after Lambert's departure; the batsman playing onto his own stumps, to trigger the slide that saw Jamaica lose their next five wickets for 84 runs.
Connell was obviously the pick of the Irish bowlers, but received good support from Stirling who claimed 2-45 and the trio of Kevin O'Brien (1-29), Johnston (1-42) and Gary Kidd (1-44). Ireland will be buoyed by the fact that they managed to bowl out Jamaica and will be looking for an advantage when they resume on one wicket down on the second day.