Barbados hold upper hand with first-innings lead
Jamaica 273 and 133 for 2 (Pagon 42*) lead Barbados 291 (Carter 99, Richardson 5-71, Miller 4-63) by 115 runs
Barbados' last-wicket pair inched to what could be a decisive first-innings advantage at Sabina Park on the third day. Jamaica ended the penultimate day 115 runs ahead with seven wickets in hand, needing an outright win to claim the title, but with just a day left, it remains to be seen if they have time to force a result.
Barbados began the day in a strong position at 197 for 3, but lost Jonathan Carter early, just one short of his century. The other overnight batsman, Dwayne Smith, played down the wrong line to Andrew Richardson and was trapped lbw and the next ball, Shane Dowrich failed to counter another inswinger and was caught and bowled, leaving Barbados at 217 for 6. Sharmarh Brooks and Carlos Braithwaite then added 32 for the seventh wicket, before Brooks was caught at first slip off Nikita Miller. It came down to the tail to try and edge Barbados to the lead and there was further drama when Brathwaite was bowled round his legs by Miller, still 22 adrift of Jamaica's score.
It was down to the last wicket-pair of Sulieman Benn and Tino Best to take the team to the lead. Benn was caught at short midwicket with the visitors ahead by a slender 18 runs. Miller finished with 4 for 63, and Richardson took 5 for 71.
Jamaica began their second innings positively, but lost their openers. Donovan Pagon and Danza Hyatt will take guard again on the final day with 98 overs to play, provided the weather cooperates.
"The game is far from over and I think the Barbados team knows that as well," Jamaica captain Tamar Lambert was quoted in Jamaica Gleaner.
"Anywhere in the region of 200 heading into the final day on this wicket we think is a really good total, as a lot of teams have struggled in the past to get such a score.
"We don't want to give up this title just like that, we want to go down fighting as at the end of the day we would prefer to lose this game outright than to go down on first innings. We just hope that the weather that has been affecting the game will stay away tomorrow so that we can fight until the end."
Brooks, the Barbados captain, credited Jamaica's fightback. "We plan to come tomorrow and try and restrict them to a total they can't defend and whatever total they give us tomorrow we will go in and think how to approach it in an orderly fashion," Brooks said.