An enterprising third first-class hundred from former West Indies Under-19 batsman Kevin Wickham enabled Barbados Pride to make up for lost time against Combined Campuses & Colleges Marooners in the West Indies Championship on Thursday.
The 20-year-old cracked eight fours and nine sixes in a fluent 139 from 135 balls to become the second century-maker for the season.
His dominant performance enabled the Pride to declare their first innings on 341 for eight, about 45 minutes before the scheduled close on the second day of their first-round match in Jamaica.
Pacer Akeem Jordan, another West Indies Test selectee on the tour of Australia, then gave Barbados the upper hand, when he bowled Trinidadian opener Kirstan Kallicharan for seven after the former West Indies Under-19 World Cup winner shared a painstaking opening stand of nine in 16 overs with Shaqkere Parris.
The Marooners ended the day on 10 for one with Parris, a former West Indies Under-19 opener, not out on two and discarded West Indies batsman Shamarh Brooks yet to score.
Earlier, Wickham maximised the docile pitch and the small boundaries to lead the batting onslaught.
He reached the milestone from 120 balls with a six over mid-wicket off Trinidadian off-spinner Shatrughan Rambaran inside the first hour after tea, before Barbadian teenaged leg-spinner Zishan Motara bowled him round his legs with Pride intent on scoring quickly to hasten the declaration.
Jonathan Drakes piled on the pressure with 84, retired West Indies wicketkeeper-batsman Shane Dowrich cracked 41, and opener Zachary McCaskie, a West Indies Test selectee on the tour of Australia, made 30.
After a ruptured water main flooded parts of the outfield and forced the abandonment of the first day, Pride had no second thoughts about winning the toss and deciding to bat and their batsmen made merry before lunch.
The Marooners still managed to chip away at their top order and restricted them to 105 for three at the interval with Pride and West Indies Test captain Kraigg Brathwaite going inside the first hour for seven before fellow opener Shayne Moseley departed for 10 and McCaskie too, fell in the second hour.
After lunch, Drakes made scoring look easy and shared 112 for the fourth wicket with Wickham before off-spinner Romario Greaves held a sharp return catch in his second over to send him on his way and got the big-hitting Roshon Primus caught at slip for five in his fourth over.
Pride were 198 for five, and Dowrich came out to join Wickham and carried them to tea on 218 for five before he exploded after the break, and the pair added 75 for the sixth wicket in quick time.
Blades bowled Dowrich off the inside edge with Pride 273 for six, and Wickham was within reach of his hundred, and he accelerated to get them past 300 and to the declaration.
Meanwhile, a destructive opening burst from pacer Darius Martin followed up consistent batting down the order led by half-centuries from Johann Jeremiah, Shamar Springer, and Ryan John to put Windward Islands Volcanoes on track for a possible three-day win against hosts Jamaica Scorpions.
Martin ended the day with three for 29 from seven overs, and Scorpions limped to 76 for four in their second innings before stumps were drawn, still trailing by 106, after they had dismissed Volcanoes for 341 in their first innings.
There was no play in the other two matches in the first round because of adverse weather in St Kitts. (CMC)