Brilliant Bonner

Brilliant Bonner

Ton-up Bonner helps Scorpions force draw with Volcanoes

Senior staff reporter

Monday, January 20, 2020

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JAMAICA Scorpions bounced back admirably in the second-round regional four-day cricket match against Windward Islands Volcanoes at Sabina Park in Kingston, but had to settle for a keenly contested draw yesterday.

When both captains and the match officials agreed to call off play with 10 overs and three balls scheduled to be bowled, the Volcanoes were 155-5 in search of an improbable 238 runs for victory.

At that point, though still shy of 5:00 pm, the light was fading due to overcast conditions on a pitch that remained good for batting despite odd instances of variable bounce.

Emmanuel Stewart, who made 26, and left-hander Keron Cottoy, with 14, were left unbeaten.

The indefatigable pacer Derval Green ended with 3-30 for the Scorpions.

Earlier, the 30-year-old Nkrumah Bonner made 100 not out to join skipper John Campbell as century-makers in the Scorpions' impressive second-innings 404-8, after they were forced to follow on for the second-straight match.

Scores: Volcanoes 387 (113.3 overs) & 155-5 (39.3 overs); Scorpions 220 (69.2 overs) & 404-8 declared (119.1 overs)

In the morning the Scorpions continued their second innings from an overnight score of 291-3 with Bonner, on 40, and Paul Palmer, on 37.

Left-hander Palmer, who scored 54 in the first innings, was the first to go with the score on 297. Left-arm pacer Preston McSween was the bowler, shaping one away from the batsman who edged to wicketkeeper Stewart. He made 42 and shared in a fourth-wicket stand worth 86 runs.

Pacer Sherman Lewis, who ended with best figures of 3-62, accounted for the wickets of wicketkeeper/batsman Aldaine Thomas (four), Derval Green (17) and Jamie Merchant (zero) as the Scorpions went to lunch on 371-7.

Bonner, who missed the opening-round game away to Trinidad and Tobago Red Force due to illness, remained steadfast at the other end, mixing some effortless attacking stroke play with unyielding defensive resistance.

Marquino Mindley (six) was dismissed by off-spinner Shane Shillingford with the first ball after lunch, but a stubborn, ninth-wicket partnership between Bonner and Nicholson Gordon kept the Volcanoes at bay.

Bonner reached his second first class ton when he advanced down the pitch to launch Shillingford for a six over wide long-on. He faced 188 deliveries and hit eight fours, to go with the lone six.

The shot also took the Scorpions past 400 and they declared immediately after — nearly an hour into the session — leaving a possible 50 overs for the visitors to reach the target.

For the first time since early on the opening day the Scorpions felt they had their noses in front, and they went at the visitors with intent.

There was a breakthrough in the fifth over, with the score on 10, when opener Desron Maloney (seven) tried to swat a short-pitched delivery from Green to the leg side. However, his only achievement was to pop a catch to Scorpions skipper John Campbell close to the wicket on the off side.

It became 45-2 when seamer Mindley got one to jag back sharply at in form batsman Kavem Hodge. The delivery, which bounced lower than expected, breached his defence to rattle the stumps.

Lapses in the field, which dogged the Scorpions on the opening day, returned yesterday. On one such occasion Mindley drew Kirk Edwards forward into a drive, but Palmer, in a floating third slip position, dropped the chance on the stroke of tea.

Green got the third breakthrough when veteran left-hander Devon Smith (47) top-edged a pull that flew down to Assad Fudadin at fine leg.

And slow left-arm orthodox bowler Patrick Harty trapped Edwards (25) leg before wicket to leave the Volcanoes on 109-4.

Not long after, Captain Sunil Ambris (10) gave his hand away chasing a wide delivery from Green, but he could only offer a catch to wicketkeeper Thomas.

That was the last success for the hosts as Stewart and Cottoy negotiated to the close.

The Scorpions' next game is set to begin Thursday against Barbados Pride at Sabina Park.

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