Defeat hovers for Scorpions after Smith shines again

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GROS ISLET, St Lucia, (CMC) – Jamaica Scorpions were tumbling towards a heavy defeat after another Devon Smith masterclass placed them under pressure in their day/night seventh round match in the Regional Four-Day Championship on Saturday night.
Set 398 for victory at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground, the visitors were tottering on 201 for seven – still requiring a further 197 runs to avoid defeat, heading into Sunday’s final day.
Brandon King slapped an attacking 88 and captain Paul Palmer, a patient 45, but they found no support other than opener Trevon Griffith’s 25, and lost their way.
With Scorpions tentatively placed at 65 for three, King struck 11 fours and a six in a 108-ball knock, while rallying the innings in a 115-run, fourth wicket partnership with Palmer.
Once the pair were separated, however, Scorpions lost four wickets for 11 runs to decline swiftly.
Seamer Kyle Mayers has been the best bowler for Windward Islands Volcanoes with three for 52 while speedster Delorn Johnson has taken two for 50.
Veteran left-hander Smith had earlier completed his fifth century of the season and second of the match, to extend his phenomenal run of heavy scoring.
The 36-year-old, beginning Saturday’s penultimate day on 75, stroked 154 as Volcanoes converted their overnight 142 for three into 283.
Following up on his first innings 107 not out, Smith faced 280 balls and struck 13 fours, becoming the first batsman to score hundreds in each innings of a Windies first-class match twice in the modern era.
Further, he has now amassed 873 runs, leaving him 195 short of the record aggregate in a single season set by former Windies left-hander Narsingh Deonarine, eight years ago.
Smith posted two key partnerships, first adding 90 for the fourth wicket with Roland Cato who converted his overnight 16 into 47 off 106 deliveries with four fours and a six.
When Volcanoes lost five wickets for 30 runs in quick time, Smith put on a further 32 for the ninth wicket with Kenneth Dember (9), before he was eventually last out.
Leg-spinner Damion Jacobs finished with four for 51 while debutant left-arm spinner Christopher Lamont picked up three for 61.

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