Scorpions’ semi-final hopes hang by a thread after Marooners defeat

first_imgBASSETERRE,  St Kitts (CMC) – Jamaica Scorpions’ semi-final hopes were dealt a severe block here Friday night when reigning Super50 Cup champions, CCC Marooners, stunned them by two wickets at Warner Park.Up against a side with a single win in their previous six matches, Scorpions thought they had done enough when they piled up 272 with two balls left in the final over, behind half-centuries from Assad Fudadin and Andre McCarthy who both scored 63.But Paul Palmer struck 59 and Jonathan Drakes, 54, as Marooners overhauled their target with two balls to spare, to shock Scorpions and leave their final four bid hanging by a thread.The Marooners run chase was a clinical one and they seemed to be coasting to a comfortable victory at 218 for four in the 43rd over thanks to several key partnerships.When four wickets tumbled for 38 runs in the space of 32 deliveries, however, the game was back in the balance at 256 for eight at the start of the 49th over.Akeem Jordan, who finished with an unbeaten 16 off seven balls, cleared the ropes at mid-wicket with pacer Derval Green in the penultimate over as Marooners gathered 11 crucial runs.And with six needed from the last over bowled by off-spinner Andre McCarthy, Jordan blasted a huge six over mid-wicket to win the contest for Marooners with two balls remaining.The defeat left Scorpions third in Group A on 16 points and facing a must-win game against second-placed Leeward Islands Hurricanes (20 points) today.And even if Scorpions win, they will need to do so by a big enough margin to ensure they surpass Hurricanes on net run rate.The victory for Marooners, meanwhile, helped to assuage their pride, as they have already been eliminated from semi-final contention.Choosing to bat, Scorpions were given a quiet but solid start by Fudadin and Aldaine Thomas (19) who put on 44 for the first wicket.Left-arm spinner Larry Joseph (3-61) struck twice, however, removing Thomas and Jermaine Blackwood (6) as Scorpions slipped to 56 for two in the 16th over.Fudadin then combined with McCarthy to stabilise the innings in a 97-run, third-wicket stand which pushed Scorpions past the 150-run mark.The left-handed Fudadin counted five fours and two sixes in an upbeat 77-run knock to move to 341 runs for the tournament at an average of nearly 49.McCarthy proved the ideal counter, smashing four fours and sixes off just 64 balls, to mark his third half-century of the tournament and carry his tally to 345 runs at an average of 49.When Joseph accepted a caught and bowled chance to remove Fudadin in the 30th over, Scorpions stumbled to lose five wickets for 45 runs as paceman Jalarnie Seales (3-75) and left-arm spinner Kavesh Kantasingh (2-43) hurt the innings.It was left to Denis Smith to lash five fours and a six in breezy 39-ball unbeaten 45, to get Scorpions up to a competitive total.In reply, Marooners started well, Gian Benjamin (35) posting 47 off 39 balls for the first wicket with Kyle Corbin (28) before adding 75 for the second with Drakes.Benjamin faced 61 balls and struck three fours and a six while Drakes counted seven fours in a 58-ball knock before both fell in successive overs to leave their side on 122 for three in the 25th over.Palmer then took control of the innings, hitting five fours and a six off 70 balls and anchoring successive stands of 58 for the fourth wicket with Sadique Henry (33), 38 for the fifth with Seales (21) and 28 for the sixth wicket with Odaine McCatty (7).Scorpions appeared to take control when Palmer and Joseph (0) fell in successive deliveries in separate overs with no runs added at 256 for eight but Jordan’s cameo stole it for Marooners.last_img read more