John-Ross Campbell’s century has put Melbourne in pole position to beat the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) in their Jamaica Cricket Association Senior Cup quarter-final clash at Up Park Camp.Sent to bat, Melbourne capitalised on a flat wicket by posting 423 for seven before declaring early in the post-tea session on yesterday’s first day.The JDF, back-to-back defending champions, thereafter closed the day on 45 for one, 388 runs behind.The hard-hitting Campbell, batting in the unfamiliar position of number seven as a result of what coach Robert Samuels said was a team decision, scored an unbeaten 115. His knock included seven fours and a six.Fellow Jamaica batsman, Andre McCarthy, 67; Sadiki Bolt – the brother of sprint icon Usain Bolt – 63; and opener Trevon Griffith of Guyana, 46, also scored well for Melbourne.There was also 40 from United States batsman Steven Taylor, who was playing in his second game for Melbourne.RETURNINGFROMINJURYNational left-arm spinner Dennis Bulli, with four for 90, led the bowling for the army men, with Sheldon Cottrell, returning from a knee injury, ending with none for 51 off five overs.National opener Jermaine Harrison, 21, is the batsman to be dismissed so far for the soldiers.Joseph Palmer, 21, and Rasheed Outar, 12, will resume batting on today’s second and final day.”I think we are ahead in the game as we have a good amount of runs,” said Melbourne’s captain Nikita Miller. “But we can’t just sit back on our laurels. We need to go out there and get the balls in the right areas and get the required wickets.”JDF’s captain Damion Grey said they intend to put up a fight.”They have the upper hand as 400-odd runs is a lot of runs,” he said. “But we have a long batting and tend to bat deep, so the aim is to try and bat out the day and see if we can get the runs.”Meanwhile, at the Goodyear Oval, the other semi-final between St Thomas CA and St Ann CA had the latter leading on first innings.St Thomas first made 201, then St Ann replied with 226. Batting a second time, St Thomas closed on 19 for two.
As part of its unique outreach programme, ‘Back to the Village’, the Governor’s administration in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday designated gazetted officers to all the 4,483 panchayats in the State to seek feedback and share knowledge on government schemes.“The idea is to have a gazetted officer each in all 4,483 panchayats. It’s a first for J&K,” said Rohit Kansal, Principal Secretary, Planning, Development and Monitoring.Each officer has been directed to visit a gram panchayat and interact with the stakeholders “in a bid to innovate programmes, ensure participation and decentralise planning”.Under the ‘Back to the Village’ programme, around 4,500 gazetted officers will spend a minimum of two days, including one night, in the allocated panchayat.“It’s aimed at strengthening the bond between the government and the citizens,” said Syed Sehrish Asgar, District Development Commissioner, Budgam.