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Jamaica edge Leewards in thriller

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

BASSETERRE—Tail-ender Jamie Merchant smashed ten runs in two balls as Jamaica edged Leeward Islands by three wickets on the fourth day of their second round, Regional Four-Day match here Monday night. With Jamaica needing ten for victory with 12 balls remaining, Merchant hit a six and a four to stun the local crowd and secure the second consecutive win for his side under lights at Warner Park. Set 218 for victory, Jamaica coasted to 67 for the loss of one wicket by tea on the fourth and final day. John Campbell top-scored with 43, Nkrumah Bonner 30 and later Jerome Taylor with 24 laid the foundation to the run chase.

However, in a riveting crescendo to an engaging contest, Leewards fought back to reduce Jamaica to 154 for six. The Jamaicans found themselves needing 151 runs to win off 26 overs, a situation requiring greater urgency. Carlton Baugh and David Bernard added 49 for the seventh wicket to take them within reach of the target. Bernard was run out for 30, disrupting the Jamaica momentum amid tense moments. Merchant’s heroics in hitting a six and a four in consecutive balls secured the win with ten balls to spare. CMC