Advantage Jamaica on 16-wicket day
Jamaica 392 and 147 for 7 (Blackwood 88*, Peters 4-44) lead Windward Islands 217 (Smith 111, Jacobs 8-47) by 322 runs
Sixteen wickets fell on the third day in St Lucia, as Jamaica legspinner Damion Jacobs claimed eight scalps to instigate a Windward Islands batting collapse. Medium-pacer Kenroy Peters' hat-trick then helped Windward fight back, leaving Jamaica at 147 for 7, albeit with a commanding lead of 322.
Windward, who began the day comfortably placed at 113 for 0, struggled after the dismissal of Tyrone Theophile (55) 10 overs into the day, as the team lost all their remaining wickets for just 104 runs. Theophile's opening partner Devon Smith (111) went on to score a 23rd first-class century, but received little by way of support from the last eight batsmen, who together contributed only 35. Jacobs, playing in only his fourth first-class game, eventually finished with 8 for 47 from his 22 overs to bundle Windward Islands out for 217 in 79 overs.
Jamaica had a crucial 175-run lead in hand, but just like in the first innings, they were pegged back by an early wicket as the opener Nkrumah Bonner was trapped lbw in the first over. Peters caused more damage in the 13th over, as he dismissed John Campbell, Andre McCarthy and David Bernard off successive deliveries to leave the team tottering at 51 for 4. Jermaine Blackwood struck 88 not out to increase Jamaica's advantage, but the team suffered three more blows towards the end of the day. However, with only a day left and a massive lead in hand, Jamaica are favoured to win the game and the title.
"It is a dream come true. I never expected this in first-class cricket but I'm happy that I could do the job for my team," Jacobs, 29, said after his eight-wicket haul. "I came on and bowled a few balls well and then I broke the partnership. Everything came out perfectly today. All the variations were good and the slider, the googly and the leg-spin were on. Everyone on the field was cheering me on and I'm very proud to do so well in just my fourth game."
Peters too was equally delighted to build on his 7 for 36 in the semi-final against Trinidad & Tobago last week with a maiden first-class hat-trick.
"I always wanted a hat-trick at this level and now I can say I have taken a hat-trick at all the levels I have played," Peters said. "Today was about self-belief and determination. I went out onto the field believing in myself. We had lost on first innings and we had to go out and make it happen. "