Jamaica hang on for thrilling draw
Jamaica 223 and 212 for 9 drew with Leeward islands 196 and 242 and 242 (Jeffers 88)
Odean Brown and Jerome Taylor, the Jamaican tenth-wicket pair, hung on for a thrilling draw in fading light as they accepted the offer of bad light from the umpires with four runs and 7.1 overs left in the final day's play at Kensington Park. Set 216 to win, after Leewards, overnight on 215 for 8, were bowled out for 242, Jamaica lost wickets regularly and were wobbling at 187 for 9 when Brown and Taylor put on a valuable unbroken stand of 25 before accepting the umpires' offer. It wasn't a decision which pleased the crowd, but the draw at least ensured four points for Jamaica, while Leewards got three.
Tamar Lambert, Jamaica's captain, told the Jamaican Observer that the decision was taken because of the elbow injury to Brown which left him struggling to hold the bat. Also the bad light was making it difficult for the batsmen to see the ball. "We decided not to take any chances," Lambert added. A loss here would have meant only four points for Jamaica while Leewards would have got 12.
Xavier Marshall, the opener who top-scored with 46, shared a 60-run partnership for the third wicket with Lambert to take the score to a comfortable 86 but when both fell within the space of seven runs and Gareth Breeze, the next man in, also fell cheaply, Jamaica were in trouble at 101 for 5.
Carlton Baugh Jr hit a breezy 36 as he put on a 46-run partnership for the sixth wicket with David Bernard Jr to lift Jamaica. Bernard then chipped away at the target with Nikita Miller to reach 180 for 7 when Leewards fought back claiming three wickets in the space of seven runs to put themselves in front. But the defiant last-wicket pair kept them at bay in fading light.