JA beaten by an innings

Tony Becca , Senior Sport Editor

January 19, 1998

CRICKET: The England cricketers ticked off their first victory on their 1998 tour of the Caribbean when they crushed Jamaica by an innings and 65 runs at Jarrett Park yesterday.

In winning the opening match of the tour 23 minutes before tea on the third afternoon with well over a day to spare, the tourists, led by another fine performance from pacer Dean Headley who finished with match figures of nine for 46 off 28.5 overs, picked up 12 wickets in only 217 minutes and only 46 overs for only 113 runs as Jamaica's batsmen surrendered to some accurate bowling on a pitch that can only be described as embarrassing.

On a pitch of such uneven bounce that wicketkeeper Jack Russell was forced to wear not only a helmet but one with a visor, not only to the pacers but also to spinner Phil Tufnell who assisted in burying the Jamaicans with second innings figures of four 33 off 13.1 overs, on a pitch so treacherous that it provided the Jamaican batsmen with some excuse for their inept performance, Headley snatched the last two Jamaica wickets to finish with first innings figures of five for 32 off 17.5 overs and returned to pocket four for 14 off 11 in the second innings.

Resuming on 108 for eight in reply to England's 286 for eight declared on the second afternoon, Jamaica lost their last two first innings in 35 minutes and 8.5 overs for an additional 17 runs; and then, with England, despite the need for batting practice, seeing no sense in batting again on such a pitch and enforcing the follow-on, lost all 10 second innings wickets in 172 minutes and a mere 37.1 overs.

Picking up where he left off on the second afternoon when he finished the day with three for 23 after removing opening batsmen Robert Samuels and Leon Garrick before either had scored, Headley opened the day's play with a first-ball bouncer which bounced off Kirk Powell's chest, onto his helmet and into the hands of Graham Thorpe in the slips, and then wrapped up Jamaica's first innings by bowling Powell - off the bat - for zero at 112 for nine and Oneil Richards for one.

Brian Murphy was left undefeated on 26.

With England demonstrating that discretion is the better part of valour and sending Jamaica to face the music again, Garrick started confidently when he clipped the first delivery from Headley to long-leg for two. Five deliveries later however, it was two for one as Garrick, attempting to drive through the offside, sliced the ball straight to Mike Atherton at gully.

It was 21 for two when Andy Caddick, replacing Headley, cut one across Hinds, beat the left-hander on the backfoot, and wicketkeeper Russell took an easy catch.

It was 39 for three off 11 overs when Samuels, after cutting pacer Angus Fraser a couple of times, after going back and punching Tufnell through the covers for three, and after going down the pitch and hitting Tufnell over wide long-on for six, went down the pitch once too often against the wily left-arm spinner and was stumped by Russell for 26.

At lunch, it was not so bad: it was 49 for three off 16 overs.

Twenty nine minutes after the interval however, the other three specialist batsmen - James Adams, Mario Ventura and Gareth Breese - were back in the pavilion, the scoreboard read 56 for six, and barring a miracle, it was all over.

The first to go was Adams who attempted to drive Tufnell, checked the stroke, lobbed a catch to Alec Stewart at mid on and departed for nine at 55 for four; the second was Ventura who played forward to Headley and walked away for zero at 55 for five as the ball rolled back onto his stumps, and the third was Breese who, going back to Headley, was leg before wicket for one at 56 for six.

At that stage, Jamaica's only hope of saving face was Laurie Williams. After taking a few blows however, including one from Headley which hit him in the chest after rearing off a good length, the allrounder was bowled for zero at 63 for seven destroyed by a deadly creeper.

After that it was only a matter of time. Andre Coley, moving too far across, was bowled behind his legs by Caddick for seven at 79 for eight; Powell, with nothing to hope for, swung wildly at Tufnell, edged a high catch to Atherton at slip and left for one at 84 for nine; and Murphy, after batting undefeated in the first innings, went at Tufnell and skied a catch to Stewart at long-off.

It was, in many respects, another disappointing in the continued saga of Jamaica's batsmanship. In some respects however, the performance in this match, by most of the batsmen, was due to the stage on which they, along with their visiting counterparts, were asked to perform.

``It is always nice to win the first match on tour,'' said England captain Atherton afterwards. ``But it is not the sort of pitch you want to play on. We now have to look towards getting some batting practice.''

``There is no way a firstclass match should have started on this pitch,'' said former West Indies star batsman and Jamaica coach Rohan Kanhai. ``What else can I say: it was just not a cricket wicket.''

Source: The Jamaica Gleaner

Contributed by CricInfo Management, and reproduced with permission
Date-stamped : 25 Feb1998 - 19:23