Miller stars as Jamaica beat Barbados
Left-arm spinner Nikita Miller's third first-class ten-wicket haul carried Jamaica to a 120-run win over Barbados at Sabina Park in Jamaica. Barbados were bowled out for less than 200 in both their innings as Jamaica claimed 12 points to top the table.
Half-centuries from Donovan Pagon and Tamar Lambert, together with a string of steady contributions from the middle and lower order, helped take Jamaica to 287 in their first innings, after they elected to bat. Tino Best picked up two wickets within the first six overs to put Jamaica on the back foot, but a third-wicket stand of 55 between Pagon and Brendon Nash (25) steadied the innings. Pagon and Lambert then put on 79 runs for the fourth wicket to further consolidate Jamaica's position. Once Pagon and Lambert were dismissed, Barbados' bowlers continued to strike at regular intervals to restrict Jamaica to 287.
Barbados started poorly with Sheldon Cotterrell dismissing the openers cheaply. They looked in trouble at 30 for 3 but a 51-run stand between Jonathan Carter and Omar Phillips - who top-scored with 67 - stablised the innings. However, once Carter was dismissed by Miller with the score on 81, the collapse began. Miller ran through the middle and lower order with a miserly spell of 5 for 25 in 22 overs as Barbados stumbled from 81 for 3 to 157 all out.
The 130-run first-innings lead proved to be invaluable for Jamaica, as their batsmen failed to get going in the second innings. Lambert hit another half-century, but seven Jamaica batsmen were unable to reach double figures, with the last four failing to get off the mark. Kemar Roach picked up five wickets, with Sulieman Benn chipping in with four as Jamaica were bowled out for 162.
However, the 293-run target proved to be too much for Barbados. Carter, who top-scored with 64, together with Roach (26) and Kirk Edwards (22), were the only batsmen to offer some resistance as Miller once again ripped through the middle and lower order. Barbados were bowled out for 172 in just under 52 overs with Miller's second five-for of the game giving him match figures of 10 for 49.
"I had a clear plan going into the match. I planned for this game and executed the plan very well. The key was to be consistent … to create pressure on the Bajan batsmen," Miller said after the victory. "Barbados always play tough cricket and I knew I had to be mentally very strong against them as well as tactically on top of my game.
"I was very consistent throughout, putting the ball in the right areas. I would say, on 95 percent of the occasions I forced the batsman into error - they did not give their wickets away. I felt I built the pressure and earned my wickets. The process brought me great joy. This is the third occasion I have collected ten wickets in a match. I would rate this as the best match haul."