Jamaica Scorpions’ decision to insert Barbados Pride on a true batting surface backfired on the opening day of their first round WICB Professional Cricket League encounter at Kensington Oval today, with the hosts ending the day on 262 for 2 with captain Kraigg Brathwaite unbeaten on 111.
Scorpions’ new skipper Paul Palmer won the toss and to the surprise of many inserted the Barbados Pride who opened their innings with Brathwaite and Kyle Corbin. The two progressed serenely to 31 before the visitors picked up their first wicket. Corbin drove a delivery from left-arm orthodox spinner Nikita Miller in the 13th over which he failed to keep down and fast bowler Marquino Mindley took an excellent tumbling catch at mid-on to send him back to the pavilion for 13.
Shai Hope filled the breach and looked in good touch from the start. He was especially pleasing to the eye on the drive and played a number of delightful shots down the ground and square of the wicket. He and Brathwaite continued with few alarms but the Scorpions should have had the wicket of Brathwaite when the score reached 95. Brathwaite, who has shown a vulnerability to the spinners on occasion, edged a good delivery from Miller when he was on 31 but was dropped by John Campbell at slip.
They continued to bat with great aplomb with Hope the more aggressive of the two and ever so often delighting the schoolchildren in the stands with a classical drive. Brathwaite and Hope batted well into the afternoon with both batsmen bringing up their half-centuries. Hope’s was reached in 116 minutes off 114 balls with six boundaries and two sixes. Brathwaite’s 50 was reached in a more sedate 176 deliveries and he counted three fours.
The Scorpions had to wait until the 65th over bowled by part-time off-spinner Campbell, who has a knack of picking up wickets, for their second scalp. With Hope on 77 and looking good for a century, the West Indies batsman pushed forward to a floated delivery that got a bit of turn and he nicked it off the inside edge to Brandon King prowling at forward short-leg.
In all Hope batted for three hours, faced 157 deliveries and hit nine boundaries and three sixes. He and Brathwaite added 131 runs for the second wicket.
Brathwaite was joined by the elegant Shamarh Brooks who eased into his innings with few difficulties on a pitch that had by this stage lost most of the early assistance which it offered briefly. At the other end, though not setting the Kensington Oval ablaze, Brathwaite continued on purposefully, playing each ball on its merit and taking no chances.
The West Indies opener eventually reached his milestone off the 256th ball he faced and it marked the 14th occasion he had passed three figures in first-class cricket. He would see out the day’s play having batted for just under six hours, faced 286 deliveries and struck eight boundaries.
Brooks also remained to the close on 49 having added 100 runs with his captain. He has so far hit three boundaries and a six in 117 minutes of batting and having faced 99 balls.
Miller ended the day with figures of 1 for 60 from 37 miserly overs and Campbell 1 for 36 from eight overs.
Barbados Pride 1st innings
*K. Brathwaite not out 111
K. Corbin c Mindley b Miller 13
S. Hope c King b Campbell 77
S. Brooks not out 49
Extras (w2, nb10) 12
TOTAL (2 wks, 96 overs) 262
Fall of wickets: 1-31 (Corbin, 12.4 ov), 2-162 (Hope,
To bat: R. Chase, +S. Dowrich, K. Stoute, A. Nurse, K. Roach, J. Warrican, M. Cummins.
Bowling: Mindley 16-3-37-0 (w1, nb3), Dawes 11-1-31-0 (nb5), Bernard 9-0-29-0 (w1, nb2), Miller 37-16-60-1, Jacobs 15-1-69-0, Campbell 8-0-36-1.
Jamaica Scorpions –– P. Palmer (captain), J. Campbell, K. Edwards, A. McCarthy, +C. Baugh, B. King, D. Bernard, N. Miller, D. Jacobs, J. Dawes, M. Mindley.
Umpires: Jonathan Blades (Barbados), Peter Nero (Trinidad & Tobago). Reserve: Ryan Willoughby.
Match referee: Mervyn Jones.