By Clifton Ross
A mind-boggling 6-wicket spell from Andre Mccarthy stunned the Barbados Pride, as Jamaica Scorpions pulled off arguably the most nail-biting heist of the season thus far, notching up a come-from-behind 51 run win last night.
One team lost their entire top order cheaply before the tail enders did the repairs and the other side, had a great start but lost most of their middle/lower-order batters for under 20 runs.
It was a complete turn of events after Barbados during their chase led by Shai Hope (51), Justin Greaves (36) and Johnathan Carter (26) managed to take the Pride to 150-plus score at one point, with just 4 wickets back in the pavilions, chasing 218.
After being well-ahead of their target, the Pride lost their momentum after Mccarthy, a batsman firstly, bamboozled almost the entire batting order with his off-break, ending with stingy figures of 6-16 and keeping Barbados to 167-10 with overs in hand.
The first two partnerships for the Pride yielded 52 for the opening and 66 for the second wicket, but they failed to rally on losing almost half their entire batting order for under 20 odd runs.
After Hope, Greaves and Carter seemed to be gliding towards the finish line, things went left, fast after Mccarthy made inroads seemingly almost every few deliveries when he had the ball in hand.
After the top failed, it was a dismal exhibition from the middle and the tail, who succumbed to Mccarthy and Fabian Allen (2-41) who returned to bag two uself wickets and more importantly giving the Scorpions some confidence and a W, as crunch time looms.
Earlier, it was the 24 year-old Odean Smith who played the hero role, digging his team out of a deep hole with his resurgent 68 batting with Jaime Merchant who scored 37 off 34. Their pair shared a 10th wicket stand of 80 to help take the Scorpions to a decent total after stuttering.
All-rounder Allen (23) was the next best scorer for Jamaica as Tridents left-arm spinner Joshua Bishop snatched up 5-35 while off-break spinner Ashley Nurse snapped up 2 wickets in a brilliant bowling effort.
It was a nightmare first innings for the Scorpions, who lost 8 of their wickets for 87 runs before Smith and Merchant’s partnership helped pull things back tremendously.
Merchant was more docile in his approach as he found the ropes 4 times and hit one six in the process. Smith however, was more belligerent in his approach despite Jamaica being under the pump.
The right hander muscled 4 big sixes and struck 4 fours as he raced to his second List A half-century. The pair continued to bat their team out of trouble and when Merchant fell, the partnership soon ended as the Scorpions innings in the 4th over.