The Barbados Pride survived a spirited chase by English county Kent to book their place in the final of the Regional Super50 Championship at Coolidge, Antigua, tonight.
Winning the toss and batting first, the Pride made 263 for 3 off their 50 overs. And chasing a revised target of 230 in 43 overs after a second shower, Kent caused a scare in reaching 216 for 8 in 43 overs. Earlier the target had initially been readjusted to a requirement of 259 in 48 overs after the first downpour.
The Pride never got into full throttle down the stretch and after losing only three wickets, could not have been totally satisfied with their eventual score. They got off to an excellent start thanks to openers Kraigg Brathwaite and Omar Phillips who put together 93 for the first wicket. The left-handed Phillips was the more fluent of the two and kept the scoreboard ticking over. He brought up a well-played half-century off the 64th ball bowled to him and counted eight boundaries. He was eventually dismissed for 62 off 70 balls when he missed an attempted sweep and was leg before wicket by off-spinner Adam Riley. In all, he struck ten boundaries and was dismissed in the 22nd over.
Jonathan Carter filled the breach, survived one chance and was then caught at short mid-wicket by Sean Dickson off left-arm spinner Imran Qayyam for four with the score on 119 for 2 after 29 overs. All the while Brathwaite was moving leisurely along, not scoring with any great alacrity but not crawling by any means. Brathwaite brought up his 50 off 84 deliveries with six boundaries. He had been joined by his West Indies colleague Roston Chase, who gave the innings greatest impetus with his positive batting from the start.
Chase played fluently against both spin and pace and on both sides of the ground. He was especially strong on the drive and brought up his fifty off fifty deliveries with five boundaries and a six. Together he and Brathwaite added 144 for the third wicket. Brathwaite eventually brought up his century off 130 balls and ended unbeaten on 105. Brathwaite tallied eight boundaries and two sixes and was the glue that held the innings together.
Chase continued to attack the bowling and perished off the penultimate ball when on 81 he was caught at deep mid-wicket by Qayyum off the medium-pace stuff of Grant Stewart. Chase took just 74 balls over his score and struck nine fours and two sixes in a highly entertaining knock.
In response, Kent got off to a bad start when they lost opener Zac Crawley in the third over bowled by Dominic Drakes. The left-hander played across a full in-swinging delivery and was plumbed lbw for five. Drakes struck once again in the ninth over when the other opener Daniel Bell-Drummond pushed tentatively at a delivery outside off-stuff and edged a catch to wicketkeeper Tevyn Walcott for 23. Brathwaite then prised out the wicket of Alex Blake who pushed down the wrong line to one that turned slightly and was bowled for six to leave the score at 62 for 3 in the 14th over.
Dickson gave the Kent innings some momentum with a few hefty blows and reached a well-deserved half-century but was out almost immediately afterwards for 51 when he was caught and bowled by leg-spinner Hayden Walsh in the 29th over with the score on 126 for 4. Dickson faced 73 balls and hit four boundaries.
Walsh also accounted for Will Gidman who he trapped lbw for eight in the 33rd over. The rain returned late in the evening and the equation was reduced further to 230 in 43 overs under the Duckworth/Lewis System. However, despite some anxious moments and a dropped catch, the Pride held their nerve with two excellent final overs from Shamar Springer and Drakes to see the Pride home by 13 runs. Brathwaite was named Man-of-the-Match for his third List A ton.
The second semifinal is tomorrow between the Windward Island Volcanoes and the Guyana Jaguars.