A career-best hundred from Devon Thomas, followed by a destructive spell from West Indies off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall, propelled hosts Leeward Islands Hurricanes to a 198-run victory over defending champions Combined Campuses & Colleges Marooners in the Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 Cup on Wednesday.
Thomas, who celebrates his 30th birthday in nine days’ time, cracked 10 fours and one six in a polished 105 from 94 balls to post the first hundred of this year’s Super50 Cup in the tournament opener, a day/night, Group “A” contest at Warner Park.
It was Thomas’ second West Indies Super50 hundred and he shared half-century stands with left-hander Amir Jangoo, Akeem Saunders and his captain Jahmar Hamilton that formed the backbone of the Hurricanes’ total of 292 for seven from their allocation of 50 overs.
Cornwall then grabbed 4-21 from 5.3 overs and hometown pacer Sheno Berridge supported with 3-20 from eight, to lead the demolition of the Marooners’ batting for 94 in 31.3 overs.
The result gave the Hurricanes four points and their second largest victory (runs) in West Indies Super50 Cup history.
Cornwall put the Marooners under early pressure when he struck in each of his first three overs, removing Romaine Morris, bowled for two; Akshaya Persaud, caught at forward short leg, also for two; and Paul Palmer, lbw for six, playing defensively forward.
Marooners were 15 for three after six overs and the wickets of Jonathan Drakes, Odaine McCatty and Larry Joseph sunk them to 39 for six.
Drakes was caught at first slip from a top-edged cut off Berridge, McCatty failed to make use of a reprieve on 14 and was caught at slip off the first delivery from left-arm spinner Jason Campbell and Larry Joseph was caught at mid-wicket from a miscued pull at a short delivery from Jeremiah Louis.
Left-hander Jerlarnie Seales arrived to hit the top score of 39 and lead a period of resistance, adding 47 for the seventh wicket with Jordan whose dismissal, bowled dragging on a short ball from Berridge, signalled the beginning of the end for the Marooners.
With Marooners captain Kyle Corbin unable to bat, due to a finger injury he sustained while fielding during the Hurricanes’ innings, the result was formalised when Seales was caught at mid-wicket to become the final scalp for Cornwall.
“Putting the balls in the right areas and using my variations and build pressure; that’s the most important thing and the wickets come around,” Cornwall said of his performance.
Earlier, the Hurricanes made a steady start after they were sent in to bat on a typically easy-paced pitch, but they laboured to 67 for two in the 19th over before Thomas came to the crease and put on 51 for the third wicket with Jangoo.
After Jangoo was caught at deep extra cover from a lofted drive, Thomas shared 54 for the fourth wicket with Akeem Saunders during which he reached his 50.
The dismissals of Saunders and Cornwall, in the 38th and 42nd overs respectively, put a dent in the plans of the Hurricanes for a strong closing flourish but their captain Jahmar Hamilton came to the crease and added 56 for the sixth wicket with Thomas to get their plans back on track.
Thomas steered his 91st ball to third-man to reach his hundred before he fell in the penultimate over, trying to increase the tempo.
“We have to take a page out of Devon’s book,” Cornwall said. “He took the innings deep and the way how he bats, taking the innings down to the last 10 overs, that is going to be a key factor for us. We are going to come up against better teams, that is Barbados and Jamaica who have good death bowling, so we have to focus on the middle and the start and then finish off in the end.”
HURRICANES 292 for seven off 50 overs (Devon Thomas 105, Amir Jangoo 39, Kieran Powell 30)
MAROONERS 94 off 31.3 overs (Jerlarnie Seales 39; Rahkeem Cornwall 4-21, Sheno Berridge 3-20)