Regional Four Day Competition 2013-14, final, day 1 April 26, 2014

Bonner, Blackwood make it Jamaica's day

ESPNcricinfo staff

Jamaica 232 for 3 (Blackwood 94, Bonner 88) v Windward Islands

Jermaine Blackwood and Nkrumah Bonner fell short of their respective centuries but ensured Jamaica had a strong opening in the final of the Regional four day competition against Windward Islands at Beausejour. The two batsmen were involved in a 180-run stand for the second wicket that lifted Jamaica from a sombre start after being put in to bat.

Blackwood, who is yet to hit a first-class century, came to within six runs of the landmark before being trapped lbw by Kenroy Peters. His innings - a continuation of his good form in the semi-final against Barbados - though complemented Bonner's at the other end. "I set my plan from when I was leaving Barbados," Blackwood said. "In the first hour I would look for 20 runs and the second hour I would look for another 20. I managed to do that and I thought that was pleasing at the start. So I went to lunch with confidence and I played well alongside Bonner."

"I am pleased, in the context of the game, with the way I played. I fought through the whole day. I was hurt inside that I did not get the century, but I helped to do the job for Jamaica and give the team a platform."

Bonner was lucky to survive two dropped chances - once, when Shane Shillingford could not hold on to a return chance when the batsman was on 40 and then when he was on 57, Nelson Pascal reprieved him at fine-leg. Cashing in, Bonner went on to hit 11 boundaries in his 88, but was dismissed soon after Blackwood.

"I felt I played reasonably well, giving the team a solid start was foremost in my thoughts when I went to the crease this morning," Bonner said. "Having done that I should have made a hundred, but I'm happy I put the team in a good position.

"I tried to play the ball in the 'V' for as long as I could. I had some difficulties this season so I tried to dig in and I was happy I got a score. We tried to bat hour by hour and we stayed together for five hours. We helped each other and that's what team work is all about."

Andre McCarthy and Tamar Lambert played out the remainder of the day and will look to extend the advantage on day two.