AROUBA, Trinidad – West Indies fast bowler Alzarri Joseph reiterated his return to full fitness by scything through Trinidad and Tobago Red Force as Leeward Islands Hurricanes claimed an emphatic 245-run victory in the third round of the Regional Four-Day Championship today.
Resuming today’s final day on 26 without loss in pursuit of an improbable 342 for victory, Red Force crumbled meekly for 96 all out, 15 minutes into an extended first session at the Brian Lara Stadium.
Though they lost Kyle Hope and Amir Jangoo early in the day, they recovered somewhat to reach 72 for two before suffering an astonishing collapse that saw seven wickets crash for six runs in the space of 28 deliveries.
In fact, at one stage, Red Force lost five wickets without adding a single run as Joseph, who snatched four for 22 and off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall, with four for 29, ruthlessly shredded the innings.
First innings top-scorer, opener Jeremy Solozano, again led Red Force with 42 but was one of only two batsmen in double figures – Hope the other with 17.
Joseph, who was limited to two one-dayers for West Indies last year as he struggled to recover from a back injury, finished the match with seven wickets and now has 15 in just three matches this season.
Cornwall, meanwhile, pipped opener Montcin Hodge for the Man-of-the-Match award, following his first innings 65 and an eight-wicket match haul – a performance which will continue to press his case for selection against England later this month.
There was no sign of the havoc to follow when Solozano and Hope safely extended their opening stand to 42 inside the first half-hour.
However, fast bowler Sheno Berridge made the key strike when he had Hope caught at gully by Hodge, driving at a wide delivery and followed up when he removed new batsman Amir Jangoo for eight, caught at short mid-wicket off the pull.
Solozano and Jason Mohammed appeared to be rebuilding inside the second hour when things suddenly fell apart for Red Force.
Mohammed charged Cornwall and holed out to mid-on running around at 72 for three and with four runs added, captain Denesh Ramdin played across the second ball he faced and was lbw to Cornwall without scoring.
Solozano, unbeaten on 16 at the start, looked accomplished in facing 100 balls in just over 2-¼ hours and striking eight fours, as he carried Red Force’s hopes of at least forcing a draw.
But those hopes were shattered when Joseph brought one back to beat a tentative push from the left-hander, the ball crashing into middle and off.
Joseph then wrecked the innings by taking the next three wickets to fall. He trapped Joshua Da Silva plumb in front in the same over in which he dismissed Solozano and in his next over, uprooted Imran Khan’s off-stump and forced Daniel St Clair to fend off a snorter, to be caught at the wicket.
Cornwall performed the final rites, dismissing Yannic Cariah without scoring and bowling last man Shannon Gabriel for 14.