Two brilliant centuries scored by inform batsman Shai Hope, and Shamarh Brooks, propelled Barbados Pride to 287 for three off 95 overs against Windward Island Volcanoes at the close of play on day one of their West Indies Cricket Board’s Professional League Regional four-day encounter.
Brooks may have played at Kensington Oval on several occasions but today was his day to shine when he scored his maiden century,124, while Hope scored the second hundred of his career at the first class level and ended the day on134 not out.
Earlier Barbados captain Kraigg Brathwaite won the toss and decided to bat first on what was a true batting track that offered brief opening assistance for the seamers. Brathwaite and Kyle Corbin opened the batting and they were in immediate trouble when Corbin went bowled by fast bowler Mervin Mathews in the second over for a duck.
The next over Windward Islands erupted in celebration when Brathwaite was caught by Keddy Lesporis for just one run off the bowling of fast bowler Delorn Johnson.
Windward were having a dream start to their encounter and with both openers gone, Hope and Brooks batting at three and four respectively had the salvaging job on their hands. They responded admirably and managed to steady things in a decent partnership that took Barbados to 98 for two at lunch.
The pair continued where they left off after lunch and batted well until tea with Hope bringing up a well deserved century just before tea off 195 balls and including eight fours.
Barbados resumed after tea on 201 with 64 overs already bowled and soon after tea in the 65th over the double-century partnership between Hope and Brooks came up in 225 minutes off 373 balls. A few overs later Brooks brought up his century off 192 balls and inclusive of ten fours and two sixes in 234 minutes.
At that stage Brooks and Hope were in complete command, frequently finding the boundary and entertaining the moderate crowd. Brooks looked poised for an even more substantial score but would perish by the run-out route. Brooks called for the run and was already making his way down to the non-striker’s end but Hope was unmoved and swift work by Liam Sebastian in the covers saw the ball returned to Windward’s wicketkeeper Dennis Smith who ended a wonderful third-wicket partnership of 237 that included 22 fours and two sixes.
The fall of Brooks’s wicket brought number five batsman Roston Chase to the wicket. The right-handed Chase offered steady support to Hope, moving untroubled to 20, and the two former Combermerians were still there at the close of play. Windward Islands bowlers did well to bowl their allotted 90 overs before 5 p.m. and had to bowl five extra overs until the cut-off period.
Mathews ended with figures of one for 33 from 17 overs including five maidens while Johnson bowled 12 overs for 43 runs including two maidens and took one wicket. West Indies off-spinner Shane Shillingford went wicketless in 25 overs conceding 77 runs.
BARBADOS PRIDE 1st innings
*K. Brathwaite c Lesporis b Johnson 1
K. Corbin b Matthew 0
S. Hope not out 134
S. Brooks run out (Sebastien) 124
R. Chase not out 20
Extras (lb2, nb6) 8
TOTAL (3 wks, 95 overs) 287
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Corbin, 1.5 ov), 2-2 (Brathwaite, 2.5), 3-239 (Brooks, 72).
To bat: +S. Dowrich, K. Stoute, A. Nurse, T. Best, J. Warrican, M. Cummins.
Bowling: Johnson 12-2-43-1 (nb4), Matthew 17-5-33-1, Shillingford 25-3-77-0, Bobb 26-4-70-0, Sebastien 13-0-52-0 (nb2) Polius 2-0-10-0.
Windward Islands Volcanoes –– *L. Sebastien, Devon Smith, T. Theophile, K. Lesporis, D. Polius, R. Currency, Denis Smith, S. Shillingford, A. Bobb, M. Matthew, D. Johnson.
(Photographs by Morissa Lindsay)