Barbados Pride paid a heavy price for two crucial dropped catches, and John Campbell hit his sixth first-class hundred to propel Jamaica Scorpions to 299 for three before rain brought an early close to play in their West Indies Championship match on Tuesday.
Pride dropped both West Indies Test discard Campbell, not out on 123, and fellow left-hander Paul Palmer Jr, not out on 76, and the pair shared 131 – unbroken – for the fourth wicket on the first day of their second round contest at Kensington Oval.
A hard, true pitch gave the Pride bowlers little assistance, and they got no support from the supporting cast, after Scorpions won the toss and chose to bat under partly sunny skies.
Left-arm pacer Ramon Simmonds produced the first chance of the day when Campbell, on 26, edged to third slip, but Shamar Springer put him down in the first hour, and the Scorpions captain, on 86, survived a stumping chance off Chaim Holder later in the day.
With new West Indies lead selector Desmond Haynes watching from comfort of the President’s Suite, Campbell became the second batsman to score a hundred off Pride this season with a pull to deep square leg for his 10th boundary off Kraigg Brathwaite’s uncomplicated off-spin.
In the final period of play, Pride had a chance to remove Palmer, on 33, when he edged Springer to second slip, but Jonathan Carter failed to hold on, and the left-hander carried on to reach his 50 in a volley of strokes.
Earlier, Pride had limited success and Scorpions reached 99 for two at lunch after Campbell and fellow opener Leroy Lugg gave them an enterprising start.
The new ball pair of Simmonds and Keon Harding got rough treatment from Campbell and Lugg, and the openers shared 71 for the first wicket.
Left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican got the breakthrough for Pride when he had Lugg caught at long-off for 39, playing a lofted drive.
Springer followed up with the scalp of Windies Test vice-captain Jermaine Blackwood caught at third slip for one.
Warrican had a chance for a second wicket before the interval, but Pride captain Kraigg Brathwaite, at mid-off, put down West Indies teammate Nkruman Bonner before he had scored.
After lunch, Pride endured a fruitless toil until the final 20 minutes before the interval when captain Kraigg Brathwaite turned to Jonathan Carter to bowl his brisk medium pace and he struck in his third over.
Carter got Nkrumah Bonner caught at second slip for 49, playing back defensively, after sharing 91 for the third wicket with left-hander Campbell.
Pride were fortunate to remove Bonner after he became stricken with cramps and he then lost his concentration following treatment on the field.
After tea, Pride found no way to slow down Campbell and Palmer and the adverse weather offer them a welcomed reprieve.
Pride made two changes to their line-up with Shamarh Brooks and off-spinner Chaim Holder replacing all-rounder Justin Greaves and injured pacer Chemar Holder, and Scorpions brought in Bonner to replace pacer Derval Green.
Pride top the standings with 21 points after a four-wicket win over Hurricanes in the first round at Kensington Oval, and Scorpions are fifth in the table with 4.4 points after they crumbled to three-wicket defeat against Trinidad & Tobago Red Force at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba, Trinidad.
SCORPIONS 299 for three (John Campbell 123 not out, Paul Palmer Jr 76 not out, Nkrumah Bonner 49, Leroy Lugg 39) vs PRIDE.