The Trinidad and Tobago Red Force bowlers lacked the penetrative edge on a flat pitch at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, in Tarouba, yesterday and eventually had to settle for a draw on the final day of the West Indies Championship four-day match against a dogged Jamaica Scorpions outfit.
After dominating for the three previous days with both bat and ball, the hosts fell flat on the final day as the Scorpions, who conceded a 182-run first innings deficit, batted out the final day to reach 300 for eight at stumps, with Paul Palmer scoring 116 to deny the Red Force a season-opening win.
The Red Force, who made 460 for four batting first, enforced the follow-on after tea on Saturday, after dismissing the Scorpions for 278 in their first innings. Second time around with the bat, the visitors piled on the pressure, taking advantage of a Red Force side that seemed to lack intensity in the field after bowling for two days.
Resuming their second innings on 86 for one, overnight batsman Assad Fudadin was run-out early. However, Jermaine Blackwood and Palmer showed great patience to defy the T&T spin attack to keep the Scorpions in the match.
Blackwood, who started the day on 17, was extremely selective, facing 192 balls for his 78 before Yannick Ottley came back to bowl in the post lunch session. The left-arm orthodox spinner had Blackwood caught and bowled to break the 131-run third wicket stand that would ensure T&T would have to bat a second time in pursuit of a potential victory, the Jamaicans reaching 222 for three.
Ottley struck again to have Rovman Powell caught by Kyle Hope at first slip for five before fellow left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein came to the party to remove Aldane Thomas and Alwayne Williams, both without scoring. But Palmer kept the Red Force bowlers at bay, while bringing up his second first-class ton to keep the home side in the field for the rest of the day.
Palmer faced 184 balls and struck nine fours for his century. He found an able partner in Marquino Mindley in the final session to frustrate the hosts further until Mindley edged behind to Joshua Da Silva for 11, with the lead standing at 103 and just about 20 overs left in the day’s play.
The players shook hands shortly after that, signalling the end to the match with both teams getting a share of the points. The Red Force face the Leeward Islands Hurricanes at the same venue starting Thursday.