Left-arm slow bowler Patrick Harty Jr bagged a career-best four wickets for 41 runs for the Jamaica Scorpions, who hold a slight edge over the Leeward Islands Hurricanes after day one of their fifth-round Professional Cricket League Regional Four-Day Championship match in Trelawny yesterday.
Harty ran through the Leewards middle order as the Hurricanes, who won the toss and chose to bat, reached 215 for nine at stumps with number seven batsman Terrence Ward unbeaten following a resolute 53. With him is last man Sheeno Berridge on one.
Earlier, a sparse crowd was on hand to witness regional first-class cricket returning to their neck of the woods for the first time in over a decade, and their long wait for action ended when the Scorpions took the field.
The seventh over of the day brought about the first wicket as former Test opener Kieron Powell was trapped in front by Derval Green for nine at 15 for one.
Opener Montcin Hodge and former Scorpions player Devon Thomas entertained the gathering with a 38-run second-wicket stand, but Thomas fell soon after via the leg-before-wicket route, as this time, Nicholson Gordon did the trick to send back the right-hander back to the pavilion for 16.
Hodge, who has not been at his best leading up to this contest, finally found his groove to put together a patient knock of 52 from 118 balls with seven fours included.
He added 39 runs with Amir Jangoo to take the Hurricanes to 92 before he was trapped in front by Pete Salmon.
Then it was time for the Patrick Harty show as the crafty left-armer bowled with accuracy and variation to pluck away at the Leewards batters one by one.
From a position of 92 for three, the Hurricanes were caught in a whirlwind of their own to be 143 for six at tea.
Jangoo did his best to hold things together with a fighting 35 before he was run out, but it was right-hander Ward who was the saviour on the day, as his late-order heroics prevented the visitors from folding.
Ward added 28 runs apiece for the eighth and ninth wicket, with Damion Jacobs (10) and Nino Henry (15), to take the Hurricanes to stumps at 215 for nine.
Ward has so far faced 137 balls and hit six fours in his unbeaten 53, while with him is Berridge, who has so far faced 15 balls for his single run.
Harty has so far bagged four for 41 from 22 overs, with a wicket each going to Green, Gordon, Salmon, and Nkrumah Bonner.
Play continues today at 10 a.m.