Nikita Miller scalps seven as spinners dominate
Nikita Miller gave Jamaica a strong start to their title defence on the first day of the Regional Four Day competition before Windward Islands hit back towards stumps on a low-scoring day in Spanish Town. The hosts' decision to field first initially seemed to have backfired as Devon Smith and Tyrone Theophile added fifty for the first wicket. Miller then snaffled four wickets in quick succession with his left-arm spin as the visitors slumped to 69 for 5. He warmed up to the task by dismissing both openers before snaring Andre Fletcher for a first-baller. Darren Sammy's exit sealed a great morning session for the hosts and things got better when Keddy Lesporis fell to Odean Brown. Windwards' 181 owed a lot to Rawl Lewis who fought back with an unbeaten 82 that included eleven fours and two sixes. Miller mopped up the tail to finish the innings with 7 for 28 in his 27th over. Spurred by the Lewis-inspired resurgence, the visitors struck early in Jamaica's reply, with the opening bowlers combining to send back the openers before stumps.
Opener Omar Philips' chancy 88 and offspinner Amit Jaggernauth's spell of 3 for 56 were the highlights as Combined Campuses and Colleges(CCC) finished with 191 for 7 at stumps on the first day against Trinidad & Tobago(T&T) in Montego Bay. After the start was delayed due to a moist wicket, T&T took advantage of the conditions after winning the toss with Richard Kelly picking the wicket of Simon Jackson early. Imran Khan's dismissal of Nekoli Parris reduced CCC to 46 for 2 and in need of a steadying stand. Philips and Romel Currency provided their side exactly that, adding 94 runs. The conditions eased out considerably, making life easier for the batsmen while the CCC fielders let their side down, dropping Philips five times. Philips cashed in, striking 10 fours before falling to Jaggernauth when in sight of a hundred. Jaggernauth also took out the other settled batsman, Currency, as CCC lost five wickets for 51 to slip from a healthy 140 for 2. Chadwick Walton held one end up with 25 and will look to take his side close to 250 on the second day.
Leeward Islands were let down by their batsmen, several of whom wasted starts, as they conceded the opening day's honours to Barbados in Kingston. Leewards had everything going for them, including the coin-toss, but they did not take their opportunities. Kieran Powell and Montcin Hodge added 25 before they were both sent back. No. 3 Runako Morton seemed to have gauged the conditions well to reach 30, the only batsman in the top five to cross 13, before he was run out. Tonito Willett then became the first of Ryan Hinds' three wickets and Pedro Collins struck to remove Steve Liburd and reduce Leewards to 86 for 5. The second half of the Leewards line-up fared marginally better, as Omai Banks and Devon Thomas added fifty runs to lift the innings from the rut. However, the malaise of throwing away good starts continued to hold sway, with Justin Athanaze and Gavin Tonge becoming the fourth and fifth batsmen to fall in the thirties. A score of 236 was a distinct under-achievement considering that all the top nine batsmen reached double figures. Barbados grabbed the opportunity to dictate terms, with their openers adding 74 to put their side firmly in control. Dale Richards was five short of a half-century and Jason Haynes was giving him good support at stumps.