ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – West Indies opener Kieran Powell was dismissed for 99 for the second time in his first-class career, after pacer Nial Smith completed a memorable debut with the ball to tighten Guyana Jaguars’ grip over Leeward Islands Hurricanes in the West Indies Championship on Saturday.
Powell led the Hurricanes resistance in their second innings, dominating a century, first-wicket stand with fellow opener Montcin Hodge, after the hosts were forced to follow on.
Hodge made 62, but the Hurricanes squandered the strong start from their openers and finished the third day of first-round matches in the Championship, still trailing the Jags by 20 in North Sound.
This followed a destructive spell of 6-55 from 16 overs for the little-known Smith, which earned the five-time defending champions a 234-run, first innings lead and full bowling points.
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Spin, the long-standing bane of batsmen in the Championship, haunted the Jamaica Scorpions batsmen, when left-arm tweaker Akeal Hosein and off-spinner Bryan Charles combined to destroy their batting, giving Trinidad & Tobago Red Force a 182-run, first innings lead and the opportunity to enforce the follow-on in Tarouba, Trinidad.
Similarly, off-spinner Shane Shillingford defied a solid half-century from West Indies opener Kraigg Brathwaite to almost singlehandedly dismantle the Barbados Pride second innings batting and set up an intriguing final day chase for hosts Windward Islands Volcanoes in Kingstown, St. Vincent.
Jaguars (388) vs Hurricanes (154) & 214-6 [f/o] at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground
Powell continued his rich vein of form, which produced the highest run aggregate in the Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 Cup this past November, with typically flamboyant batting that carried Hurricanes to 152 without loss batting a second time in the match.
But eyeing his second Championship career hundred, he was caught behind off pacer Keon Joseph to initiate a period of instability in which Hurricanes lost six wickets for 50 before stumps were drawn.
Left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul played spoiler, claiming the scalps of Hodge, Devon Thomas for 15 and Jaison Peters for two to finish the day with 3-52 from 27 overs to be the most successful Jaguars bowler in the Hurricanes second innings.
But it was Smith, 24, that made the big splash, when he captured three of the last five Hurricanes wickets, after the home team resumed from their overnight total of 125 for five in their first innings.
Hurricanes captain Jahmar Hamilton hit the top score of 52 and helped his side past 150 before he fell to Smith, who had cleaned up Colin Archibald and Damion Jacobs in the space of three deliveries in his 14th over for second-ball ducks to hasten the home team’s decline.
Red Force (460-4 dec) vs Scorpions (278) & 86-1 [f/o] at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy
Scorpions lost their captain and West Indies opener John Campbell for 28 to a return catch to Charles early in their second innings, after following on.
Guyanese left-hander Assad Fudadin, not out on 32, and West Indies batsman Jermaine Blackwood, not out on 17, defied the Red Force attack in the final hour before the close, bringing an end to a day that started brightly for the Scorpions.
Defiant batting from West Indies international Rovman Powell, pacer Derval Green and former captain Paul Palmer gave the Scorpions hope of a much more competitive reply to Red Force’s big first innings total.
Powell hit the top score of 71, Green frustrated the Red Force attack with 59 batting at seven and Palmer made exactly 50.
Scorpions resumed from their overnight total of 94 for three and reached 202 for four with Powell anchoring successive half-century stands with Palmer and wicketkeeper/batsman Aldaine Thomas.
Powell extended his overnight fourth-wicket stand with Palmer to 90 before he linked up with Thomas for a 59-run partnership for the fifth wicket.
But Hosein, who ended with 4-58 from 25 overs, trapped Powell lbw and Charles snared 3-67 from 17 overs to spark a collapse in which Scorpions lost their last six wickets for 76 to concede full bowling points to the home team.
Pride (233) & (269) vs Volcanoes (234) at the Arnos Vale Cricket Ground
Brathwaite showed signs of a return to form with a gritty top score of 72, but Shillingford cruelly exposed the Pride batting with 7-105 from 31.3 overs, setting up the Volcanoes to chase 269 for victory on the final day.
Brathwaite, the Pride captain, anchored the top half of his side’s batting, after the visitors restricted the Volcanoes to a one-run, first innings lead.
They were 123 for four, when Brathwaite fell to Shillingford in the final hour before tea, but a stand of 53 between Tevyn Walcott and Justin Greaves either side of the break kept them moving.
Greaves made 36 before he was caught behind off pacer Preston McSween, who also had Walcott caught at deep backward square leg for 40 from a miscued hook six overs later, triggering a collapse in which Pride lost their last six wickets for 88.
Earlier, Pride swiftly wrapped up the Volcanoes first innings, after the hosts resumed from their overnight total of 230 for seven.
Volcanoes added just four runs and West Indies left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican took two of the final three wickets to fall, ending with 4-40 from 27 overs to be the pick of the Pride bowlers.