An unbeaten Andre Russell century saved the Jamaica Scorpions a few blushes in their Cricket West Indies Regional Super50 Festival game against the Kent Cricket Club on Wednesday at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.
Russell’s century cancelled out one from Kent opener Daniel Bell Drummond, 105 not out, after the English County side were sent into bat and scored 239-5 from their 50 overs. The Scorpions replied with 240-7.
Kent were put in early trouble as the wickets of Zak Crawley, 1, Sean Dickson, 11, and Joseph Denly, 1, left them reeling at 98-4.
Ninety-eight for four became 104-5 when Will Gidman was undone by Andre McCarthy for three, but a remarkable recovery was still on the cards.
Wicket-keeper Adam Rouse joined Drummond at that point to score a swashbuckling 75 not out from just 68 deliveries.
The partnership, worth 135, came off 123 deliveries and gave the Scorpions a few headaches.
Fabian Allen, 2-35, was the best of the Scorpions bowlers, with Oshane Thomas, 1-43, Pete Salmon, 1-33, and Andre McCarthy, 1-47, also getting among the wickets.
When the Scorpions replied, they got into early trouble, losing Steven Taylor for a duck, before Trevon Griffith followed for just three.
Chadwick Walton, 22, McCarthy, 18 and Fabian Allen, two, made for a woeful looking top order batting display. The Scorpions were, at one stage, 57-5, and staring a second defeat to Kent in the face.
Enter the fray, Brandon King, whose 43 helped stabilise the innings. Along with Russell, the Scorpions put on 76 without further disturbances, but when King went in the 35th over with the score at 133-6, the game could have gone either way.
Salmon, 19, then stuck around with Russell in a partnership worth 71.
When Salmon lost his head in the 46th over, Russell and Odean Smith stepped on the gas, to score the last 36 runs required from just 21 balls.
By that time, Russell had brought up his 100 and the Scorpions had overtaken Kent in the standings to hold on to one of two qualification spots for the semi-finals with two games to go.
Guyana, who are playing against the Leeward Islands Hurricanes today, hold the other spot.