Sport

Manchester High take first-innings lead in Headley Cup final

Friday, March 22, 2019

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SANTA CRUZ, St Elizabeth Manchester High captain and all-rounder Andre Morgan led from the front as his school came from behind to take a crucial first-innings lead over defending champions St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) on day two of the Grace Headley Cup cricket final at STETHS here yesterday.

With Manchester High starting the day at 70-6 in reply to STETHS's first innings 186, Morgan top-scored with 85 and shared an impressive 133-run seventh wicket stand with Wavel Anniford (56) as the visitors were eventually dismissed for 214 — a lead of 28.

It represented an exceptional recovery for Manchester High who at one point were 26 for 5 on the opening day.

By the close, STETHS, batting a second time, reached 117-4. That gives the defending champions a second-innings lead of 89 with six second-innings wickets standing. STETHS will be hoping to take their lead past 150 to give their bowlers a fair chance on a wearing last day pitch. They will also hope that rain stays away.

In the event of the game ending in a draw, Manchester High would take the Grace Headley Cup by virtue of their first-innings advantage.

Scores in the game entering today's third and final day: STETHS 186 and 117-4; Manchester High 214.

Morgan, a tall right-hander who grabbed four wickets with his seam bowling on the first day and Anniford, batted with great discipline, composure and enterprise to score 92 runs in yesterday's morning session. The left-handed Anniford, fell in the post-lunch session LBW to seamer Andre McCarthy, who was the top bowler for STETHS with 5-29. Anniford hit a six and four fours in his 159-ball knock.

Morgan, struggling with cramps towards the end of his knock eventually fell to the off-spinner Roberto Simpson — an excellent diving catch on the midwicket boundary. Morgan stroked 10 fours and a six in his 219-ball knock — the innings quickly folding following his dismissal.

STETHS quickly wiped off the deficit but the loss of opener Romario Moxam (13) at 40-1, hooking at a Morgan bouncer, was quickly followed by top batsman McCarthy, brilliantly caught at gully by Oneil Roberts also off Morgan at 48-2. It became 57-3 when Jerome Jones (32) fell to the off spin of Anniford.

Captain Zavier Burton, unbeaten on 32, and Lennox Simpson (19) calmed STETHS's nerves before the latter fell close to the day's close to the left-arm spin of Jaheem Bartley. Nightwatchman Andre Blake not out 10 is set to resume with Burton today.

Morgan took 2-30 in 11 overs for match figures so far of 6 for 59, to go with his heroic batting.

— Garfield Myers


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