Barbados Pride were in a strong position at the close of play on the first day of their crucial final round WICB Professional Cricket League first-class encounter against the Leeward Islands Hurricanes at Warner Park, St Kitts/Nevis today.
The Kraigg Brathwaite-led Pride ended the day on145 for four off 44 overs in reply to a first innings total of 119 all out in 51.2 overs by the Hurricanes. The not-out batsmen were the prolific Roston Chase on 22 and West Indies middle-order batsman Shane Dowrich on 17.
Earlier the Pride’s bowlers had maintained a stranglehold on the Hurricanes with only Jahmar Hamilton who top-scored with 42 batting at No. 6, and former West Indies opener Kieran Powell who made 33, showing any stomach for the fight. Hamilton batted for 104 minutes, faced 81 balls and struck four fours and one six.
West Indies Test left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican was the leading wicket-taker with three for 33 off 16.2 probing overs. West Indies pacer Kemar Roach who has been battling fitness problems and poor form for some time, returned to the wickets column with 2 for 21 from nine overs while fast bowler Miguel Cummins finished with 2 for 30.
The Hurricanes opened their batting with West Indies Under-19 middle-order batsman Kacey Carty and the Prodigal son Kieran Powell, recently returned to regional cricket.
Carty was first to go in the sixth over of the innings when he was caught at second slip by Jonathan Carter off Roach for two with the score on 19.
Carter was in action once more when Montcin Hodge edged Roach into the slip cordon in the eighth over with the score on 27. All the while Powell, fresh from a half-century in his last match, looked quite assured despite the occasional alarm.
However, the introduction of off-spinner Roston Chase, whose bowling can hardly still be considered ‘part-time’, proved to be Powell’s undoing. With the off-spinner turning the ball away from the left-hander, Powell attempted to turn Chase to leg and was caught at slip by Carter off the mis-timed stroke. Powell’s wicket fell in the 13th over to make the Leewards 41 for 3.
The situation went from bad to worse for the hosts when captain Orlando Peters was comprehensively bowled by Cummins as the Hurricanes slumped to 46 for 4 in the 16th over. And on the same score Sherwin Peters followed his captain back to the pavilion in the next over when he was caught by wicketkeeper Dowrich off Warrican for four.
Burly off-spinning all-rounder Rakheem Cornwall, who has played a number of valuable lower-order innings for the Leewards, got together with Hamilton and added 34 runs before Warrican accounted for Cornwall. He was caught at long-off by Chase for 11 as he attempted a forcing stroke.
Though the track offered some assistance to the bowlers, Hurricanes’ batsmen played a number of loose strokes and contributed to their downfall. They reached 100 with Hamilton playing a number of meaty shots. However Cummins finally ended his innings when he knocked back the 25-year-old Anguillan’s stumps in the 46th over with score on 108.
There would be no late-order rescue act as the Hurricanes quickly capitulated half-hour before the tea break. With the score on 111 the eighth wicket fell when Jacques Taylor gave Carter his fourth catch in the slips off the bowling of part-time off-spinner Brathwaite.
Jeremiah Louis was run out for nought and former West Indies fast bowler Gavin Tonge was stumped by Dowrich off Warrican for four to bring the innings to a close in the 52nd over. Promising West Indies Under-19 fast bowler Alzarri Joseph was not out on four.
Brathwaite and opening partner Omar Phillips got the Pride’s innings off in a positive manner with Phillips the more aggressive of the two. The Hurricanes started their attack with the spin of Cornwall and the pace of Joseph.
The opening pair took the score to 64 before the left-handed Phillips, prodding forward, was caught at slip by Cornwall off off-spinner Taylor for 42 in the 20th over. Five overs later Cornwall bowled a faster delivery which skipper Brathwaite mis-read and was leg before wicket for 31 to leave Barbados Pride on 84 for 2.
Shamarh Brooks, who has been in wonderful form during the tournament, was then caught at short midwicket by Powell off Cornwall for two to leave the Pride on 96 for 3 in the 31st over. The Hurricanes would register another success before stumps were drawn when Shai Hope provided Cornwall with his third wicket when he nicked to Hamilton behind the stumps with his score on 27 and the Pride’s 105 for 4.
Cornwall has so far snared 3 for 50 in 19 overs while Taylor has 1 for 34 in nine overs.