Jamaica cruise to easy win
Jamaican cricketers celebrated reggae icon, the late Bob Marley's birthday, with an impressive 118-run win over Bahamas in the latest match of the Stanford 20/20 tournament at Stanford Cricket Ground on Wednesday.
Replying to Jamaica's season high 191 for four; Bahamas were restricted to a mere 73 for seven.
With the win, Jamaica await the winner of Friday's sixth Round of 16 Match-up between the Nevis Pro Team and Montserrat.
Electing to bat, Jamaica, despite losing Shawn Findlay, caught by Mario Ford off Lee Melville, got off to a very good start – reaching 45 in the first five overs.
Xavier Marshall, who opened the innings with Findlay, and Danza Hyatt, continued the fireworks as Jamaica raced to 88 at the half way mark, the best score after 10 overs this season.
Marshall, who played two Test matches for the West Indies on their 2005 tour of Sri Lanka, and Hyatt, continued Jamaica's dominance. Both carefully picked the deliveries to hit but when it looked as if Hyatt and Marshall were going to bat throughout the innings, Sri Lankan born left-arm spinner, Narendra Ekanayake struck.
He drew Marshall, who was earlier put down by wicketkeeper Gregory Taylor on 28, out of his crease with a delivery that spun across the right-handed batsman, leaving Taylor to redeemed himself with a very sharp stumping.
In the 67-run second wicket stand with Hyatt, Marshall's 37-ball knock of 43 included two fours and a similar number of sixes.
Though Marshall fell at 100 for two in the 12th over, Hyatt, who was joined by Wavell Hinds, could not be contained. Hyatt, at this stage, was scoring rapidly and this was evident by him out-scoring Hinds in their 57-run third wicket stand.
It was during this time that he brought up his half century with an extra-cover drive for two off Dwight Weakley. However, Hinds fell shortly after, caught on the long off boundary by Garcha Blair off Ryan Tappin for 23 at 157 for three.
Jamaica were on course to score 200, but that target began to seem when Hyatt injured his leg and was forced to use a runner in Findlay. He, however, managed to hit the ball with some power before he was caught by Weakley off Blair at 188 for four in the final over.
In the end, Hyatt, who was later named Man-of-the-Match for which he collected US$25,000, had six fours and two sixes.
Towards the end, Carlton Baugh Jr. hit two huge sixes and a solitary four off 10 deliveries. Tappin (1 for 22), Melville (1 for 33), Blair (1-35) and Ekanayake (1 for 36) were the wicket takers.
Upon the resumption, after Jamaican dancehall legend Beenie Man and Antiguan soca diva Claudette Peters entertained the approximately 7000 spectators, Bahamas were never in contention for the runs.
They were 15 for two in the fourth over, after losing openers Weakley (8) leg before to David Bernard Jr. and Marc Taylor (4), who ran himself out.
Ford, who took eight runs off Brendan Nash's lone over, was removed in the very next over by Bernard, who had him caught at cover by Findlay at 25 for three.
And then, 10 runs later, run outs took centre stage. Ekanayake (2), Whitcliffe Atkinson (0) and Jonathan Barry (0) all went run out, leaving Bahamas reeling at 41 for six.
Gregory Taylor (10) joined Tappin and the two added 19 runs for the seventh wicket, the best of the innings, which saved Bahamas from tumbling for a record low score.
In the end, Tappin stood firm on 25, having faced 45 balls, one of which he dislodged for six over the Jamaica changing room.
Bernard was the pick of the bowlers with 2-15. Jermaine Lawson, who picked up the Play of the Day for running out Ekanayake with a direct hit coming off the long on boundary, ended with 1-16.
Bahamas' captain Ekanayake admitted the target was out of their reach.
"It really was out of our (reach). We just told the guys to go out there and enjoy themselves and bat out the overs," he said.
"They (Jamaica) were on top of the game from ball one. We never had a chance. We were outplayed in three departments, bowling, batting and fielding, so they deserved the win."
On the other hand, Tamar Lambert, Jamaica's captain was pleased with his team's performance.
"I think it was a very good performance from the guys," he said while adding that Marshall, Findlay, Hyatt and Hinds set the platform, which was backed up in the field by four run outs.