Excitement on final day with close wins for Barbados, Guyana and T&T
The final day of the first round of the West Indies Championship was filled with highlights and drama as all three matches went down to the wire. On Saturday, Barbados Pride secured victory by four wickets over Leeward Islands; Guyana Harpy Eagles had a nail-biting one-wicket win over Windward Islands Volcanoes, while Trinidad and Tobago Red Force squeezed out victory over Jamaica Scorpions by three wickets.
Jonathan Carter’s half-century proved the difference as Barbados Pride thwarted a Leeward Islands Hurricanes fightback at Kensington Oval. Stumbling on 128-6 in search of a tricky 195, Pride were pulled around by the experienced Carter who stroked an unbeaten 71 – his 25th half-century at first class level.
More importantly, he added 67 with Kemar Harding (23 not out) in an unbroken seventh wicket partnership to repel the Hurricanes bid as Pride got over the line late in the final session. Left-hander Raymon Reifer hit 45 and captain Kraigg Brathwaite got 29 while seamer Jeremiah Louis led the Hurricanes attack with 4-59.
The visitors had earlier rallied to 346 all out after resuming from their overnight 294-7, captain Jahmar Hamilton adding seven to his overnight 40 and Louis weighing in with the bat with 44 off 99 balls with half-dozen fours.
Debutant left-arm seamer Ramon Simmonds picked up 4-65 while off-spinner Brathwaite (2-7) and quick bowler Harding (2-69) supported with two wickets apiece.
Pride stumbled early in their run chase when left-hander Shayne Moseley (3) was caught at second slip by Kieran Powell moving in front of first slip, off Louis in the third over with six runs on the board. Reifer arrived to punch five fours in a 73-ball knock which rebuilt the innings, first anchoring a 58-run, second wicket stand with Brathwaite and then a 36-run, third wicket stand with Carter.
The left-handed Carter, who struck five fours and two sixes off 131 balls in three hours at the crease, then watched as Pride lost four wickets for 28 runs to concede the advantage.
Over at Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad and Tobago had a mighty scare before pulling off a nerve-jangling victory over Jamaica Scorpions. Resuming the morning at the Brian Lara Stadium on 22 without loss in pursuit 81, the home side had a major slide and needed opener Keagan Simmons’s top score of 38 and captain Imran Khan’s cool head, in order to get over the line.
Comfortably placed on 57-2 at one stage, Red Force lost five wickets for 12 runs in a difficult period as off-spinner Jamie Merchant (3-18), fast bowler Marquino Mindley (2-3) and left-arm spinner Patrick Harty (2-21) combined to lift Jamaca’s hope. There were little sign of the drama to unfold when left-handed Isaiah Rajah shouldered arms to Mindley and was leg-before without adding to his overnight eight at 34-1.
And even when Joshua Da Silva edged low to John Campbell at first slip in Mindley’s next over at 40-2, Red Force’s still appeared on course for what looked an easy win. However, the strife started when Jason Mohammed’s drive at Merchant found the edge and was taken by Jermaine Blackwood at slip and Jyd Goolie followed in the next over without scoring, bowled by Harty.
Yannic Cariah (1) fell to a leg-side catch behind off Merchant with a run added at 59-5 and Simmons’s 82-ball vigil, which included five fours, ended at 60-6 when he edged to Blackwood at slip to give Merchant his third wicket. Bryan Charles’s demise for five, bowled missing heave at Harty, sent further chills through the innings before captain Imran Khan (10 not out) secured the win.
Over at Queen’s Park Oval, Guyana Harpy Eagles held their nerve to seal a win over Windward Islands Volcanoes in a dramatic climax. Chasing a victory target of 203, Harpy Eagles appeared well placed to complete a dominant win when they reached 89 without loss, thanks to left-handed opener Chandrapaul Hemraj’s top score of 60.
Scoreboard here: https://www.windiescricket.com/matches/210950/#scorecard
In a sudden turn of events, off-spinner Kenneth Dember (5-80) and left-arm spinner Larry Edward (3-11) knifed through the innings to reduce Harpy Eagles to 140-6 before left-hander Vishaul Singh (24), Veerasammy Permaul (20 not out) and Clinton Pestano (20) produced defiant knocks to help Harpy Eagles to their total. The contest remained in the balance at 183-9 but Permaul proved to be the hero, anchoring a 20-run, unbroken last wicket stand with Nial Smith (4 not out).
Volcanoes were earlier bowled out for 190 in their second innings after resuming the morning on 157-5 , Larry Edward hitting 43 off 110 deliveries with half-dozen fours. Permaul claimed 5-53 to end with match figures of 8-141, and surpass 550 first class wickets.
Hemraj then stroked seven fours and two sixes in an aggressive 73-ball knock as he put on 89 for the first wicket with Tagenarine Chanderpaul who made 28. The slide started when the left-handed Chanderpaul drove Dember low to Teddy Bishop at cover and continued when Hemraj holed out in the deep off the same bowler, at 94-2.
Shimron Hetmyer was taken low down by Devon Smith at slip off Dember for nine, captain Leon Johnson (21) was bowled by pacer Preston McSween while Anthony Bramble (7) picked out deep mid-wicket on the ropes off Dember. When Keemo Paul was caught and bowled by Dember without scoring three balls later in the same over with a run added at 140, Volcanoes were on top.
Vishaul rescued the situation, however, adding 28 for the seventh wicket with Pestano, and when he was one of three wickets to tumble for 15 runs in another twist, Permaul held steady for Harpy Eagles.