Kraigg Brathwaite’s big appetite for centuries was again underlined last Saturday in the BCA Super Cup Championship.
In scoring 111 for CounterPoint Wanderers against Barbados Youth, who lost by 125 runs at the Harrison College ground, Crumpton Street, in Series 4, he carried his record number of hundreds in the long-standing competition to eight.
Brathwaite, the Barbados Pride first-class captain and West Indies Test opener, who has also played at the One-Day International level, faced 122 balls and hit seven fours in a total of 290 for eight off 50 overs.
It was also a memorable match for Barbados Youth fast bowler Jaden Edmund, who took a beaver-trick and finished with four for 69 off ten overs.
Ever since the island’s top one-day tournament was played on an annual basis from 1972 (then known as Derrick Robins) before Barbados Fire & Commercial (General) Insurance Co. Ltd (later renamed Sagicor General) took over three years later, there have been some increasingly outstanding feats.
The tournament was contested as a 40-over-a-side between 1972 and 2000.
Cup matches were brought up to international standard from 2001 as they were played over 50 overs a side.
The Super Cup was launched in 2004.
In relation to the list of top century-makers, Brathwaite has now widened the gap by three. Four batsmen have scored five. They are: Philo Wallace (Spartan), Romel Currency (UWI), Dwayne Smith (YMPC) and Kenroy Williams (St Catherine).
Wallace, Smith and Currency all hit their centuries for their clubs, while Brathwaite’s first two hundreds were for Barbados Youth in 2009 and 2010 and the others for Wanderers.
One of Williams’ centuries is for Barbados Youth.
Wallace, the former Barbados captain and West Indies player known for his attacking batting, first set the record by slamming his centuries between 2000 and 2003.
Currency, a Vincentian and former Windward Islands player, who studied at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, hit his hundreds between 2007 and 2010.
Smith, who represented Barbados and West Indies in all versions of the game, made his first century in 2006 and his fifth in 2013.
Last season was marked by a few record-breaking performances.
Ryan Wiggins and Nkosi Ross were in the forefront as they spurred YMPC to the title.
Wiggins finished with the most runs ever (526) including one century and four half-centuries, at an average of 47.26, while left-arm spinner Ross took the most wickets (30) in a season.
Ross bowled the most overs all told (93.3) at a remarkable economy rate of 2.98. His average was 9.30.
Both Wiggins and Ross played 11 matches.
Significantly, just one year after the Tournament was established as a 50-over, the record for the most runs in a season was set by Philo Wallace. He scored 422 runs (ave: 52.75) including two centuries in eight matches in 2002.
That record remained for ten seasons before Renaldo “Baby” Parris of Maple broke it in 2012 by scoring 426 runs (ave: 47.33) in ten matches.
In 2015, BDFSP left-hander Jameel Stuart, put his name in the record books with an aggregate of 445 runs (ave: 49.44) in 12 matches during which be batted ten times with one not out.
Prior to last season, the record for the most wickets (23) in a Championship had been jointly held by leg-spinner Dave Marshall, a former Spartan and Barbados player and off-spinner Don O’neal of Maple.
Marshall, now the Spartan coach, established the record in eight matches in 2002 (he bowled 64.2 overs) when he captained Spartan to their eighth one-day title, which is still the record for the most titles despite the fact that Spartan have not tasted success since, while O’neal equalled it in 2012, sending down 64.5 overs in nine matches.
In 2016, there were at least two other individual record-breaking performances.
Chadwick Walton of UWI became only the second batsman ever to slam a double-century and Gladiola (formerly LIME) off-spinner Daley Hurley pencilled in his name as only the second bowler ever as well to take eight wickets in a match.
And both upstaged the previous holders of the records.
Jamaican Walton lashed 207 off 144 balls with 16 fours and 12 sixes against Carlton at 3Ws Oval.
Dale Richards, a former Barbados and West Indies opener, is the other player with a double-century – 202 for Carlton against Banks (now Wildey) at Black Rock (renamed Desmond Haynes Oval) in 2006.
Hurley took eight for 13 against Combermere at Kingsland.
Philip Browne, a seamer, had held the record for the best figures of eight for 19 for Spartan against BDFSP at Paragon in 2003.
In addition, there were 22 centuries, wiping out the previous highest number (14) in 2014.
UWI established a new record for the highest ever total – 418 for seven off 50 overs against Wildey, who were beaten by a massive 302 runs at 3Ws Oval.
It surpassed the 416 for eight by BDFSP against BCL at Paragon in 2015.
UWI also became the first team ever to amass over 400 twice, scoring 417 for six against Carlton.
There was a unique record as well set by Shai Hope of Pickwick.
Wicket-keeper/batsman Hope, a current West Indies Test and ODI player, is the only batsman to finish with an average of over 100 in three consecutive seasons – two of which he topped the overall averages (2014 and 2016).
In 2014, he scored 331 runs (ave: 165.50) in seven matches; 2015 – 211 runs (ave: 105.50) in four matches and 2016 – 312 runs (ave: 104.00) in eight matches.
His remarkable statistics in those three years show 854 runs from 19 innings including 12 not outs, at an average of 122.00.
And talking about outstanding batting performances, ten years ago there was an unforgettable over of pure slaughter by Sherwin Campbell, en route to a century.
Mark down September 24, 2007. Representing Banks against Barbados Youth at the Brewery in what was a decisive match since the winners were guaranteed a place in the quarterfinals, Campbell, the former
Barbados captain and West Indies opening batsman had just returned from a professional contract in England.
Batting at No. 5, he tore into off-spinner Stefan Gooding, scoring 40 runs in the last over of the innings, which cost 41.
Campbell struck 6, 6, 6, 4, 6, 6 (no-ball) and 6 as he raced from 74 to 114 not out off 113 balls including seven sixes and five fours in a total of 214 for nine.
Gooding, then also a national Under-19 team player and who now represents Police, ended with one for 77 off ten overs.
In what turned out to be a thrilling finish, Banks won by just one run.
The Super Cup certainly has a rich history.
Keith Holder is a veteran, award-winning freelance sports journalist, who has been covering local, regional and international cricket since 1980 as a writer and commentator. He has compiled statistics on the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) Division 1 (now Elite) championship for three-and-a-half decades and is responsible for editing the BCA website (www.bcacricket.org). Holder is also the host of the cricket Talk Show, Mid Wicket, on the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation 100.7 FM on Tuesday nights. Email: Keithfholdergmail.com