Jamaica made hard work of their Digicel-sponsored Jamaica Cricket Festival fifty-over contest against Canada, winning by four wickets and posting 150 for 6 at the Port Rhodes Sports Club yesterday afternoon after earlier bowling out the Canadians for a modest 148 in 41 overs.
Despite having a below par score to defend, the Canadians made a contest of the encounter and showed their intentions from the very first delivery in the Jamaican response, getting rid of opener Danza Hyatt who was caught in the slips by Harvir Baidwan off the bowling of Henry Osinde.
The Canadians were at it again minutes later when Donovan Pagon (1) was sent on his way back to the pavilion, caught by Rizwan Cheema with Khuiram Chohen doing the damage to leave the Jamaicans precariously poised on 2 for 4.
Things looked even worse for the locals when Carlton Baugh (13) and Captain, Tamar Lambert, who went for a first ball duck, were both sent packing with the score on 64, as Canadian hearts started to warm to the possibility of an unlikely victory.
Opener, Brenton Parchment, was the only real salvation for the hosts with a responsible unbeaten knock of 72 which he achieved at a run-a-ball. Parchment's innings consisted of 10 crushing fours and lasted over two hours.
Hard-hitting lower-order batsman, Andre Russell, removed all doubts towards the end of the innings, crashing the boundary ropes on four occasions, including the winning run that came from a ferocious on drive, during his 11 ball cameo which put on 19 runs. The Jamaicans achieved the target in 28.2 overs.
Osinde did the most damage for the Canadians, ending with figures of 3 for 59 off his eight overs.
Earlier in the day while at bat, it didn't take long for the Canadians to find themselves in a spot of bother with David Bernard Jr. getting the better of opener, Cheema (7), who was caught leg-before-wicket for seven and then Hiral Patel (5), bowled for five, both within the first ten overs to leave the visitors reeling at 2 for 26.
Krishmar Santokie (2 for 34) got the first of his two wickets soon afterwards when Trevin Bastianpillai (9) drove straight into his hands to worsen the situation for the North Americans who were looking increasingly uncertain at 3 for 36.
At the other end, wicketkeeper/Captain, Ashish Bagai, was building a steady innings for the Canadians, stroking his way to a neat-looking 53 from 64 balls. Bagai helped himself to seven fours during his innings that lasted for an hour and 20 minutes before he was bowled by a toe-threatening yorker by Russell immediately after receiving a rising bouncer from the tall pacer.
Usman Limbada (24), who was stumped by young wicketkeeper, Kemar Marshall, and Sunil Dhaniram (15) were the only other Canadians who got into double figures as Bernard Jr ended with 2 for 23 off seven overs for the Jamaicans.