Allen half-century highlights Scorpions fightback

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KINGSTOWN, St Vincent, Apr 8, CMC — Rookie Fabian Allen struck his second half-century in as many matches to hand Jamaica Scorpions a lifeline on the second day of their ninth round game against Windward Islands Volcanoes here Saturday.
Trailing by 167 runs on first innings, Scorpions found themselves in dire straits at 150 for six in their second innings, before the 21-year-old Allen arrived to stroke an unbeaten 72 and revive the innings.
At the close at the Arnos Vale Stadium, the visitors were fighting back on 249 for eight — a lead of only 82 runs heading into Sunday’s penultimate day.
Earlier, veteran left-hander Devon Smith carved out his second hundred in three matches and the 29th of an illustrious first class career, to lift Volcanoes to 223 for nine declared.
The 35-year-old, resuming on 66 with his side on 181 for six, finished on exactly 100 not out in a knock that consumed 253 balls in just over five hours, and included 12 boundaries.
Captain and left-arm spinner Nikita Miller was the best bowler with five for 58.
For the second time in the game, left-arm seamer Kyle Mayers (2-36) then hurt the Scorpions, removing opener John Campbell (7) and Test batsman Jermaine Blackwood (2) cheaply to leave the innings tottering on 21 for two.
Paul Palmer, who made a dogged 46, then anchored two key stands to reboot the innings. Firstly, he added 45 for the third wicket with opener Trevon Griffith (29) before putting on a further 62 for the fifth wicket with Devon Thomas who made 42.
Palmer faced 128 balls in 2-1/2 hours at the crease and counted four fours while Antiguan Thomas was cavalier in his 51-ball knock, blasting seven fours and a six.
However, both fell within 19 balls of each other leaving Scorpions still in danger of an innings defeat but Allen stepped up to belt nine fours and a six in a breezy 86-ball knock, to frustrate Volcanoes.
Significantly Allen — in only his third first class game — added 48 for the seventh wicket with Derval Green (13) and 51 for the eighth wicket with Dennis Bulli (17), as Scorpions extended their fight with a lower order rally.
Off-spinner Shane Shillingford did the major damage, taking five for 83.

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