West Indies cricket October 23, 2004

Jamaica inch past Barbados in thriller

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Jamaica 165 (Samuels 54, Bradshaw 4-36) beat Barbados 158 (Nurse 45, Browne 37) by seven runs

Jamaica overcame another flaccid display with the bat to beat Barbados by seven runs in the latest of the West Indies limited-overs cricket championship.

After batting first, Jamaica soon discovered that their usual attacking approach was not designed for Guyana's slow, low pitches, and it took an unusually attritional innings from Marlon Samuels to give their innings any substance. He ground his way to 54 from 122 balls, as Ian Bradshaw, the hero of West Indies' Champions Trophy triumph, finished with four wickets.

Barbados didn't heed the lesson, however, as Martin Nurse, their young lefthander, launched the reply with a volley of sixes to bring up the 50 inside eight overs. But his dismissal at 68 for 2 led to a mid-innings wobble, as four more wickets fell in quick succession, and it took that familiar pairing of Bradshaw and Courtney Browne (37) to stabilise the run-chase.

As had been the case at The Oval against England, speed was not of the essence, so the pair were content to nudge the singles and inch towards their target. But Browne flicked a catch to cover, Bradshaw was needlessly run out, and the innings faltered in sight of victory.