ST GEORGE’S, Grenada (CMC) – Kavem Hodge was eyeing a second first-class hundred and Kyle Mayers his first, as both struck unbeaten half-centuries to ensure Windward Islands Volcanoes dominated the opening day of their penultimate round match in the Regional Four-Day Championship against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force.
Sent in at the National Stadium here yesterday, Volcanoes recovered from 37 for two to end the rain-hit day on 270 for four with Hodge stroking 87 not out and Mayers 73 not out.
Veteran left-handed opener Devon Smith chipped in with 46 to take his season aggregate to 945 runs while Roland Cato scored 26.
Unbeaten in their last three outings and looking to end the season strongly, Volcanoes made a dodgy start when they lost a couple of early wickets, as opener Tyrone Theophile (21) and former Test batsman Kirk Edwards (3) went cheaply.
Smith put on 29 for the first wicket with Theophile who struck four fours in his 54-ball knock before departing to a catch at the wicket off St Clair.
The enterprising 30-year-old St Clair then prised out Edwards but the right-handed Hodge stood firm and anchored two excellent stands, to put Volcanoes in control of the innings.
First, he added 81 with Smith for the third wicket before putting on a further 115 in an unbroken fifth-wicket partnership with Mayers.
Left-arm pacer Daniel St Clair was the best bowler with two for 44.
Smith, entering the match with 899 runs for the season, again looked in good touch in an innings lasting 177 balls and including three fours.
He was approaching his second half-century of the season when he fell to left-arm spinner Khary Pierre, and Cato followed after striking four boundaries in a 50-ball innings and posting 37 for the fourth wicket with Hodge.
In need of stability at 155 for four, Hodge and Mayers combined in a free-scoring stand to put Red Force on the back foot.
Dominican Hodge played confidently, facing 250 deliveries and hitting 10 fours while Barbadian Mayers, an aggressive left-hander, lashed 10 fours and three sixes in an authoritative 64-ball knock.
Mayers, in particular, was severe on anything remotely loose and continued to attack the Red Force bowling well into the dying stages of the day, smashing three boundaries off off-spinner Bryan Charles in the third over from the close.
Volcanoes entered the round bottom of the six-team standings on 61.4 points while Red Force lie fourth on 76.8.
VOLCANOES 1st innings
D. Smith c Pierre b Charles 46
T. Theophile c wkp. Katwaroo b St Clair 21
K. Edwards c Jangoo b St Clair 3
K. Hodge not out 88
R. Cato c Ramdin b Cariah 26
K. Mayers not out 73
Extras: (lb-9, nb-5) 14
Total: (4 wkts, 100 overs) 270
Fall of wickets: 1-29, 2-37, 3-118, 4-155.
Bowling: St Clair 14-5-44-2, Webster 13-4-41-0, Charles 28-8-62-1, Imran Khan 22-4-69-0, Pierre 12-5-16-0, Cariah 11-4-29-1.
RED FORCE – D. Ramdin, A. Jangoo, J. Solozano, E. Nicholson, Imran Khan, Y. Cariah, T. Webster, K. Pierre, S. Katwaroo, D. St Clair, B. Charles.