FOUR-DAY: Blackwood keeps Harpy Eagles at bay with graceful ton

SUMMARY: Jamaica Scorpions 282-6 (Jermaine Blackwood 110*, Alwyn Williams 51, John Campbell 37, Aldane Thomas 35*; Gudakesh Motie 2-39, Kevin Sinclair 2-74, Veerasammy Permaul 1-46, Demetri Cameron 1-77)

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Report and Photography by Akeem Greene in Trinidad

Grace is not a word usually associated with the batting of Jermaine Blackwood, but on Wednesday, for the most parts, he shelved the flashy shots and played a sublime knock to put Jamaica Scorpions in a strong position against Guyana Harpy Eagles after day one of their Four-Day match at Diego Martin Sporting Complex, Trinidad.

The West Indies Test Vice-captain ended the day unbeaten on 110 after facing 251 balls, striking 14 fours and one powerful straight six, and has anchored Scorpions to 282-6 in the Round Four clash.

At the other end is Aldane Thomas, unbeaten on an aggressive 35 (8x4s) from 40 balls, in a stand so far worth 46.

After the early loss of Leroy Lugg (5), Blackwood came at three and stabilised the innings with a stand of 54 with skipper John Campbell.

However, the partnership which shifted the momentum to Scorpions was that of 112 between Blackwood and Alywn Williams, who made 51 from 113 balls (8x4s).

The duo took the steam out of the Eagles’ attack as though Kevin Sinclair got two vital breakthroughs, he leaked runs, while the Demetri Cameron, still young in his First-Class career, did not offer the control for skipper Leon Johnson.

To be fair to the Eagles’ bowlers, the small ground and perfect batting conditions did not help their cause of seeking to limit Scorpions to a meager first innings total.

Blackwood kept the ball on the square most of the day (Photo: News Room/Akeem Greene/May 25, 2022)

Gritty Blackwood

The right-hander grafted for 126 balls to reach his half-century and just had seven fours in the uncharacteristic innings.

He had to battle through a tough morning period where the Eagles’ bowlers were hitting their marks and the rewards of his patience came in the post-lunch session.

Unlike the flashy drives or cuts over point, Blackwood played mostly with a straight bat and ran the singles.

His partner Williams had more of charmed life after he edged one between keeper Tevin Imlach and Johnson at first slip, just before he reached his half-century.

Blackwood kept going and reached his eighth First-Class century from 229 balls and got a loud applause from the sprinkling of spectators and his teammates.

Kevin Sinclair was on a hat-trick (Photo: News Room/Akeem Greene/May 25, 2022)

Sinclair’s somersault is back

Sinclair sparked an early slide as he was on a hat-trick after trapping Test opener Campbell and Oraine Williams leg before, but a strong push off of the back-foot by Paul Palmer Jr. denied Sinclair the chance of entering the history books.

Last featuring in a First-Class match in March 2020, the off-spinner rolled out his iconic somersault celebration after the two vital scalps for his side.

Campbell made a responsible 37 (7x4s) in a 54-run stand with Jermaine Blackwood after Lugg sliced Cameron to Gudakesh Motie at deep third-man. At lunch, Scorpions has stumbled to 90-3.

In the third oval after the interval, Paul Palmer Jr. (18) went for hack off the bowling of Motie, only to lob a simple catch to Cameron at point.

Below are the summarised scores from the other games

At Brian Lara Cricket Academy: Trinidad and Tobago Red Force 133 (Imran Khan 29, Terrance Hinds 25, Joshua DaSilva 23; Jomel Warrican 3-21, Akeem Jordan 2-17, Ramon Simmonds 2-24, Justin Greaves 2-26) lead Barbados Pride 87-2 (Raymon Reifer 32*, Shayne Moseley 24, Jonathan Carter 19*; Hinds 2-14) by 46 runs

At Queen’s Park Oval: Leeward Hurricanes: 301-9 (Collin Archibald 104*, Jahmar Hamilton 52, Terance Ward 30; Preston McSween 4-30, Kenneth Dember 2-77) v Windward Volcanoes

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