NORTH SOUND, Antigua, (CMC) – Test fast bowler Alzarri Joseph narrowly missed out on what would have been a superb hundred while fellow speedster Jeremiah Louis chimed in with a half-century, as they frustrated Jamaica Scorpions with a brilliant century stand to rescue Leeward Islands Hurricanes.
With Hurricanes tottering on 111 for eight after being sent in on Thursday’s opening day, Joseph launched a stunning counter-attack with a pulsating career-best 89 from just 92 balls while Louis struck a measured 75.
Together, they put on a 102 for the ninth wicket, a partnership which propelled the hosts to 260 all out.
In reply, Scorpions finished on 47 for one, still 213 runs adrift heading into Friday’s day two of the eighth round contest at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.
It was the new-ball pair off Marquino Mindley and Derval Green who handed Scorpions the iniative, combining for nine of the wickets to fall.
Mindley snatched five for 65 while Green claimed four for 84 as they tore through the Hurricanes top order in a devastating new-ball spell.
In fact, the hosts were tottering on 14 for three after Green struck twice in the space of three balls in the morning’s fifth over to remove opener Kieran Powell (11) and Amir Jangoo (0).
And when Mindley had Keacy Carty caught at the wicket for four, Hurricanes were danger of complete collapse at 22 for four.
Captain Jahmar Hamilton inspired the initial fightback, hitting a fluent 40 off 64 deliveries with six fours, while posting 26 for the fifth wicket with Ross Powell (16), 33 with Hayden Walsh (14) for the seventh wicket and 29 for the eighth wicket with Joseph.
Once Hamilton departed, however, Joseph took charge. He struck seven fours and half-dozen sixes, dominated the stand with Louis who faced 146 balls in just over 2-½ hours and counted eight fours and two sixes.
When Joseph became Green’s fourth wicket, Louis stood firm to add a further 46 for the last wicket with Kian Pemberton (two not out).