A 12th first-class hundred by Darren Bravo, and a career-best spell for seamer Justin Greaves captured the headlines in the West Indies Championship on Thursday – the second day of the second round of regional four-day first-class matches.
The left-handed Bravo made an even 100– his fifth Championship career hundred – and led consistent batting down the order that carried Trinidad & Tobago Red Force to 369-8 in their first innings against hosts Leeward Islands Hurricanes on a day curtailed by rain.
Windward Islands Volcanoes were 48-2 in their second innings for an overall lead of 173, after a destructive spell from Greaves sent leaders Guyana Harpy Eagles crashing to 169 all out, replying to the home team’s first innings total of 294.
Jamaica Scorpions were six without loss in their second innings, trailing by 69, after left-arm spinner Patrick Harty defied half-centuries from Shayne Moseley and Shane Dowrich that Barbados Pride made 216 all out, replying to Jamaica’s first innings total of 140.
At Sir Vivian Richards Stadium: the stylish Bravo struck 10 fours and two sixes from 229 balls in 5-1/4 hours of batting while all-rounder Imran Khan, reached 67 not out at the close. Yannic Cariah made 52, and Terrance Hinds, batting at nine, made 51, to enable Red Force to claim four of the five batting bonus points.
Bravo added a 101-run stand with Cariah on another rain-shortened day to set the tone for the rest of the Red Force batting, and they took their cue from the 35-year-old left-hander to put their side in a favourable place in a match, where only 114 out of a possible 180 overs have been bowled over the first two days.
When pacer Sheeno Berridge bowled Bravo, Red Force were 227-6, but Imran anchored successive half-centuries stands with former Hurricanes wicketkeeper-batsman Amir Jangoo and Hinds to reinforce their command. Pacer Jeremiah Louis has been the most successful Hurricanes bowler taking 3-56 from 23 overs, and Berridge and left-arm pacer Colin Archibald have taken two wickets each.
At Grenada National Stadium: Greaves demonstrated he is back to full fitness after an injury prevented him from bowling significantly in recent times when he snared a miserly 5-24 from 18 overs in home conditions.
Ryan John followed up a defiant half-century in the Volcanoes’ first innings with 2-52 from 14 overs to support the demolition of the Harpy Eagles batting. Greaves struck in his first over when he bowled first round century-making opener Matthew Nandu for two and trapped long-standing Harpy Eagles captain Leon Johnson lbw for five in his fourth over.
The visitors were 28-4, but Anthony Bramble made 21 and Kemol Savory got 20, and stemmed the fall of wickets before Greaves removed them in the span of four balls. Resolute lower-order batting by Veerasammy Permaul, came to the rescue as he topscored with 53 and share 61 for the seventh wicket with Kevin Sinclair.
John got Sinclair caught behind for 23 and the last three Harpy Eagles wickets fell for 39 with John, Greaves, and off-spinner Kenneth Dember each taking a wicket, and Volcanoes collected the full three bowling bonus points.
The new-ball pair of Ronsford Beaton and Nial Smith hit back for the Harpy Eagles removing opener Jerlani Robinson for three, and first innings century-maker Alick Athanaze for 11 to set up an intriguing third day.
Earlier, Permaul took the last two Volcanoes first innings wickets in the span of five balls to end with 4-70 from 22.5overs, after the hosts resumed from their overnight total of 292-8 and added only two runs.
At Coolidge Cricket Ground: Harty ended with 4-23 from 12.5 overs to lead the Scorpions bowling and keep his side in the contest on a day that started late due to adverse weather. Marquino Mindley took 2-25 from 12 overs, and Abhijai Mansingh captured 2-30 from 10 overs with his leg-spin supported Harty’s effort, and enabled the Scorpions to gain full bowling bonus points.
Left-hander Moseley made the top score of 82 and Dowrich, the wicketkeeper-batsman and Pride captain, was not out on 64. Moseley added 41 to his overnight score and shared 74 with Dowrich before he fell to Mansingh. Scorpions openers Leroy Lugg, not out two, and Tevin Gilzene, not out four, survived a brief period before stumps were drawn.
Due to the rain on Thursday, play in both matches in Antigua will start early at 9:30am (8:30am Jamaica). Play in Grenada will start at the originally scheduled 10am (9am Jamaica).