Six for 19!

McCarthy hat-trick demolishes Pride to send Scorpions to semis

ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC) — A sensational hat-trick by part-time off-spinner Andre McCarthy floored Barbados Pride as Jamaica Scorpions surged into the semi-finals of the Super50 Cup here last night with an emphatic 51-run victory.

Chasing a below par 219 for victory at Coolidge Cricket Ground in the decisive preliminary round match to determine the last semi-final spot, Pride were ripped apart by McCarthy’s career-best six for 19 to crumble to an embarrassing 167 all out in the 42nd over.

They appeared to be storming to victory on 141 for two in the 29th over behind Shai Hope’s top score of 51 and opener Justin Greaves’s 36, but once McCarthy sliced through the innings Pride shockingly lost their last eight wickets for just 26 runs.

With the scales slowly tipping in Scorpions’ favour, McCarthy rammed home the advantage for his side by turning the game on its head in the 40th over.

Starting his eighth over with Pride perched on 165 for six, McCarthy kept Ashley Nurse (2) scoreless off the first two balls before having the right-hander caught at the wicket cutting, and then followed up by comprehensively bowling Akeem Jordan on the back foot.

Joshua Bishop, who had earlier snared a brilliant career-best five-wicket haul, then played down the wrong line to the hat-trick ball and had his off-stump pegged back, sparking celebrations among the Scorpions camp.

McCarthy fittingly picked up the last wicket in his 10th over when he breached Chemar Holder’s uncertain defensive prod to bowl him for two and earn Scorpions a clash with Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in Wednesday’s first semi-final.

“From ever since I went out there and I never made any runs I knew I had to contribute with something in the game. And I told the skipper, ‘Give me the ball and I am going to do the job for you today,’ ” a hoarse McCarthy said afterwards.

“I’ve been working on my bowling. I was in Bangladesh with the [West Indies] team and I was doing a lot of bowling. The coach really recognised my bowling and it’s something that is working for me now.”

McCarthy’s heroics nearly overshadowed a courageous unbeaten 68 from number 10 Odean Smith, who inspired two successive half-century stands at the back end to pull Scorpions out of the mire at 87 for eight and propel them to 218 all out in the 46th over after they chose to bat.

Better known for his fast bowling, Smith resisted stoutly with five fours and four sixes in a 75-ball knock as he added 80 for the ninth wicket with Jamie Merchant, who made a breezy 37 off 34 balls with four fours and a six.

Smith then found an ally in Jeavor Royal (16), the pair putting on a further 51 for the last wicket to see Scorpions past the 200-run mark.

Handed the new ball, the 20-year-old Bishop snatched the first five wickets to fall to end with five for 35, while off-spinner Nurse supported with two for 51, as none of the Scorpions specialist batsmen suggested permanence.

All-rounder Fabian Allen chipped in with 23 in a 29-run, sixth-wicket stand with Captain Rovman Powell (19) before holing out to long on off Nurse in the 24th over.

Despite their momentum, Scorpions found themselves on the ropes again as Hope, in only his second match of the tournament, put on 52 for the first wicket with Greaves before adding a further 66 for the second with Shamarh Brooks, who made 27.

Greaves struck five fours and a six in a robust 26-ball knock before miscuing a drive at off-spinner Merchant and being taken at point in the 10th over, and Brooks was run out in the 22nd over in a mix-up over a single with Hope, who faced 81 balls and counted three fours and a six.
Even then there was no sign of the pending drama, as Hope and left-hander Jonathan Carter (26) confidently added 23 for the third wicket.

But Allen (2-41) accounted for both with his left-arm spin, Hope slicing a catch to Brandon King diving forward at point in the 29th over and Carter driving a sharp return catch in the 33rd.

Six balls later in the next over, with one run added, Captain Jason Holder missed a pull and perished lbw for one to give McCarthy his first wicket in his sixth over, and when left-hander Nicholas Kirton (3) clipped a straightforward catch to substitute Sheldon Cottrell at short mid-wicket in McCarthy’s next over, Pride were slumping at 163 for six in the 38th over.

Two overs later, the 33-year-old McCarthy struck the killer blow with his hat-trick to end the game as a contest.

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