Kirk Edwards made an emphatic return to the Barbados team with his eighth first-class hundred, to lead a strong batting performance against Combined Campuses & Colleges in the Regional Four-Day Championship yesterday.
Edwards hit a composed 109, as the “visitors” reached 248 for four, replying to CCC’s first innings total of 269, at the close on the second day of their third round match at the Three Ws Oval.
It was Edwards’ first innings since he was expelled from the national side prior to the NAGICO Super50 Tournament last month in Trinidad and he stamped his authority with his fifth Regional Four-Day hundred.
He struck five fours and four sixes from 204 balls in four hours of batting, and dominated a stand of 180 for the second wicket with captain and opener Kraigg Brathwaite, unbeaten on 85, that established a new mark for the Barbadians against CCC.
Edwards reached his hundred in 198 minutes, when he drove his 182nd ball – from Austin – to long-on for a single.
Brathwaite, Edwards’ successor as Barbados captain, was unbeaten on a painstaking 85 and wicketkeeper/batsman Shane Dowrich was not out on eight when stumps were drawn.
Test opener Brathwaite, whose knock contained five fours from 274 balls in just over six hours, stood firm, batting all day, as the CCC fought back with three wickets in the final hour to add some intrigue to the final period.
Left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican, a graduate of the West Indies High Performance Centre, has been the pick of the CCC bowlers with a miserly two for 47 from 28 overs and off-spinner Ryan Austin supported with two for 64 from 27 overs.
Starting the day on three without loss, Barbados benefitted from resolute batting from Brathwaite and fellow opener Rashidi Boucher in the first hour.
Boucher was trapped lbw for 29 to Warrican in the first over after the drinks break, sweeping across the line, leaving the Barbadians 47 for one.
Edwards came to the crease and with Brathwaite put the grind on the CCC for the next four hours, as they carried Barbados to 75 for one at lunch and 173 for one at tea.
Brathwaite was fortunate on 34, when leg-slip fielder Kyle Corbin dropped him off Austin, in the first hour after lunch.
Edwards reached his 50 from 108 balls when he drove Warrican to mid-off for a single and Brathwaite followed about 20 minutes later when he glanced Kesrick Williams to fine leg, also for a single.
Edwards, on 85, was fortunate, in the second over after tea, when wicketkeeper Chadwick Walton mis-stumped him off Austin.
He continued merrily until he reached his milestone, but he tried to clear long-off with a delivery from Warrican and was smartly caught just inside the boundary rope by Shacaya Thomas, running about 10 yards to his right before diving to hold on.
Jonathan Carter spent 20 minutes at the crease, but failed to give the scorers any work before he was caught at slip off Austin, edging a back-foot stab, and four overs later, Roston Chase got another blow to his confidence, when he was caught at silly point for one off Austin from an ill-advised sweep.
Barbados, who hold a 4-3 edge in this head-to-head battle, are fourth on 19 points and CCC are bottom of the seven-team table on four points.
The Barbadians have lost three of the four matches they have contested at the Three Ws Oval – only breaking the sequence of losing at this venue last year with a resounding innings and 185-run victory. (CMC)