Jamaica hit back after Mathurin fireworks
KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Left-arm spinner Garey Mathurin’s five-wicket haul sent title-holders Jamaica sprawling for just 180 but the hosts hit back late to leave the first round contest of the Regional Four-Day Championship wide open after the first day at Sabina Park Friday.
Mathurin, who played a single Twenty20 for West Indies against England last September, took five for 34 as Jamaica, sent in by Windward Islands, collapsed from a seemingly comfortably position of 106 for three after lunch.
Left-hander Brendan Nash, discarded by West Indies selectors after a lean patch last year, held the innings together with a patient, unbeaten 49 while captain Tamar Lambert got 26 and Donovan Pagon, 23.
In their turn at the crease, the Windwards started well to reach 31 without loss but then lost three wickets for 18 runs, as medium pacer David Bernard Jr claimed two for nine from four stingy overs.
Looking for an unprecedented fifth straight title, Jamaica begun shakily when former West Indies captain Chris Gayle edged left-arm seamer Kenroy Peters to Keddy Lesporis at slip to fall for two with the score on seven.
Opener Simon Jackson (18) and Pagon added 43 for the second wicket before Jackson was caught at fine leg attempting to sweep Mathurin.
Pagon, who hit two fours and a six off 42 balls, gave West Indies off-spinner Shane Shillingford a return catch with just six runs added, leaving the hosts in slight disarray at 56 for three.
Nash and Lambert then combined to steady the innings, posting 50 for the fourth wicket, in the process seeing Jamaica to lunch without any further loss at 73 for three.
The Australia-born Nash hit one four overall in an innings lasting 161 balls while Lambert faced 60 balls and cracked two fours and two sixes.
Lambert stroked two consecutive fours to carry Jamaica to three figures but departed soon afterward to a catch at the wicket off pacer Nelon Pascal at 106 for four.
Wickets fell steadily thereafter as Mathurin sliced through the lower order to send Jamaica tumbling.
Johnson Charles then hit 24 off 38 balls and out-of-favour West Indies opener Devon Smith, 12, as they posted 31 for the first wicket.
But once Smith was smartly held at second slip by Jackson off Bernard, the Windwards stuttered and stumbled to the close.