Cricket Sports

Bonner, Merchant punish Pride in Scorpions win

Nkrumah Bonner sustained his great form with a fourth List A hundred before off-spinner Jamie Merchant snatched a four-wicket haul, as Jamaica Scorpions exacted revenge on Group A leaders Barbados Pride with a 26-run victory on Wednesday.

Behind the 30-year-old Bonner’s near run-a-ball 112, Scorpions piled up a tournament-best 331 for nine off their 50 overs at Conaree, with West Indies all-rounder Rovman Powell falling narrowly short of his second century of the campaign, blasting a 59-ball 97.

In reply, Pride came up short on 305 for eight despite a superb effort from captain Jonathan Carter, who stroked a scintillating 97 off 90 balls.

Opener Leniko Boucher struck a breezy 47 while all-rounder Roshon Primus lashed an unbeaten 39 down the order but Merchant proved the difference with a destructive spell of four for 35.

The victory for Scorpions was an important one as it revived their semi-final quest, pulling them alongside second placed Leeward Islands Hurricanes on 16 points.

Pride, meanwhile, remained on top of the group with 20 points, after their second defeat in seven matches.

Looking to avenge their 75-run thrashing to Pride nearly two weeks ago at Warner Park, Scorpions looked anything but doing so when they slumped to 41 for three in the 11th over, with seamer Kyle Mayers (2-26) striking twice.

However, Bonner arrived at number five to take control of the innings for Scorpions – first in a 37-run, fourth wicket stand with Andre McCarthy (24) and then in a record fifth wicket partnership of 151 with Powell.

Already with two half-centuries in the tournament, the right-handed Bonner marched to his third off 53 balls in the 31st over before completing three figures in the 48th over with a single to third man off speedster Primus.

Overall, he faced 111 balls and struck nine fours and three sixes.

It was Powell who brought the innings to life, however, belting seven fours and sixes in a ferocious assault on the Pride bowlers, as he raced to his half-century off just 34 balls in the 28th over with a boundary to long on off Ashley Nurse’s off-spin.

He needed only another 25 balls to find himself on the verge of his second hundred of the tournament when he was clean bowled by fast bowler Shamar Springer at the start of the 37th over.

Three wickets then fell for just 18 runs in the space of 26 balls but Bonner joined with Merchant to add 60 off 50 deliveries with Merchant for the eighth wicket, to give the innings a strong finish.

Pride’s run chase started positively as Boucher and Kjorn Ottley put on 64 off 63 deliveries for the first wicket to turn the game into a real contest.

Merchant’s introduction changed the game, however. He claimed Boucher in his first over after the right-hander had faced 49 balls and counted eight fours, brilliantly taken one-handed at slip by Dennis Bulli diving to his left.

Two balls later, Merchant deceived left-hander Nicholas Kirton and had him caught and bowled without scoring and when he also accounted for Ottley in the 17th over, Pride were 91 for three and in need of impetus.

Carter provided it, slamming 10 fours and four sixes and posting 56 for the fourth wicket with Mayers (29), 30 for the fifth wicket with Tevyn Walcott (5) and a further 50 for the sixth wicket with Springer (28).

When Carter failed to keep out a full length delivery from seamer Derval Green and had his stumps shattered in the 41st over, Primus tried to rescue the run chase with three fours and a six in a 30-ball cameo but it was ultimately in vain.

CMC

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