A Kevin Stoute half-century underpinned critical rearguard action from the Barbados Pride and denied Trinidad and Tobago Red Force total domination of the opening day of their fifth-round match today at Kensington Oval.
Opting to bowl first, Red Force snatched the early advantage as seamers Uthman Muhammad (3-47) and Terrance Hinds (3-51) sliced through the Pride top order to reduce the innings to 47 for six after lunch, before the hosts recovered to reach 209 all out.
Stoute, in his third match of the season, top-scored with 52 batting at number seven while Ashley Nurse slammed a better than run-a-ball 48 and Test seamer Kemar Roach, an important 38.
In reply, Red Force lost Joshua DaSilva for 13 as they reached 52 for one at the close, with left-hander Jeremy Solozano ending unbeaten on 35.
Needing precious points from the encounter after enduring the frustration of a rain-ravaged drawn fourth round game against Windward Islands Volcanoes last week, Red Force enjoyed a dream start.
Left-handed opener Shayne Moseley struck four fours in his 23 before Hinds found his edge in the morning’s ninth over for DaSilva to take a smart catch at second slip.
Seven runs later with 30 on the board, Muhammad removed in-form Test batsman Shamarh Brooks for four to a catch low down at gully by Kjorn Ottley, the right-hander driving loosely outside off-stump.
And with no runs added in the same over, Justin Greaves lost his middle stump to a full length delivery, leaving Red Force in control of the first hour.
Test opener Kraigg Brathwaite, who has struggled this season averaging 21 from eight innings, continued his miserable run – shouldering arms to one from left-armer Daniel St Clair (2-39) in the last over before lunch and falling lbw for four.
Brathwaite took 20 balls to get off the mark and lasted 55 balls in an hour-and-a-half at the crease.
Tottering on 33 for four at the interval, Pride found little reprieve after the resumption as Hinds bowled Kyle Mayers in the second over, spectacularly removing the left-hander’s off-stump for 10.
And in the next over, St Clair shattered Test wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich’s stumps for three, after breaching the right-hander’s defence.
Stoute started the revival when he put on an invaluable 87 for the seventh wicket with Roach before adding a further 26 for the eighth wicket with Nurse.
The 34-year-old Stoute played an attractive innings, counting nine fours off 85 balls in just over two hours at the crease.
Roach crunched a couple of fours and three sixes off 72 balls before edging a slash at a wide ball from Muhammad and going caught at the wicket at 134 for seven.
Red Force then got the prized wicket of Stoute just before tea, caught down the leg-side by wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin sweeping at left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein (2-49) but Nurse, who punched seven fours in a 47-ball cameo, rallied the innings. (CMC)