Kimani Melius demonstrated his batting potential with a splendid record-breaking maiden hundred, to lead Windward Islands Volcanoes’ domination of Trinidad and Tobago Red Force on Thursday at the Grenada National Stadium.
The 22-year-old, who led the West Indies Rising Stars at the 2020 ICC Under-19 World Cup, made a superb 192 – the highest score by a St Lucian in first-class cricket – as Volcanoes reached up an impressive 393-7 in their second innings on the penultimate day of their opening round match in the West Indies Championship four-day first-class competition.
Overall, Volcanoes lead by 325 runs heading into Friday’s final day.
Kavem Hodge provided support with 80 while captain Alick Athanaze struck an unbeaten 49 and the experienced Sunil Ambris, 42 not out, but it was Melius who stood out with his superb effort.
Resuming the morning on 39 with Volcanoes on 62 without loss, Melius faced 269 deliveries and struck 18 fours and three sixes. He reached his century off 128 balls in just under 2-¾ hours when he clipped the third delivery before lunch from off-spinner Bryan Charles (2-92) behind square for two. He then moved to 150 off 191 balls in four hours at the crease with a single to fine leg off seamer Terrance Hinds, nearly an hour before tea.
Along the way, Melius put on 209 for the second wicket with Hodge who faced 195 balls and struck six fours, before adding a further 49 for the third wicket with Athanaze whose 92-ball knock contained four fours.
Once Melius was dismissed, Athanaze combined in a 72-run, unbroken fourth wicket partnership with Ambris who once again played aggressively.
At the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua: another recent West Indies Rising Stars player, 19-year-old opener Matthew Nandu made a brilliant 126 in his first innings at this level. The knock propelled Guyana Harpy Eagles to 371 in their first innings against defending champions Barbados Pride on the second day of their contest.
Unbeaten overnight on 70 with his side on 205-5, the left-hander reached triple figures with a couple to third man off seamer Akeem Jordan (2-54) in the fourth over before lunch.
Nandu extended his sixth wicket stand with Kevin Sinclair to 62 as the right-hander made 43 off 69 balls with eight fours. Nandu then added 90 for the seventh wicket with Veerasammy Permaul who struck 37 from 95 balls with six fours.
For the Bajans seamer Jair McAllister had an impressive first outing with 3-43 and off-spinner Chaim Holder (3-72) also bowled well.
In reply, opener Shayne Moseley struck 65 to help steer Pride to 105-3 at the close.
The left-handed Moseley faced 107 balls and counted nine fours, adding 69 for the first wicket with Zachary McCaskie (26) and 32 for the third wicket with Test batsman Shamarh Brooks (10 not out).
Over at Coolidge Cricket Ground: allrounder Jeremiah Louis made a career-best 78 not out for Leeward Islands Hurricanes as they rallied from their overnight 163-6 to 260 all out on the second day of their game against Jamaica Scorpions.
Louis hit seven fours and three fours off 171 deliveries, posting 46 for the ninth wicket with Colin Archibald (17) while fast bowler Marquino Mindley (3-28) and leg-spinner Abhijai Mansingh (3-47) claimed three-wicket hauls. Leroy Lugg then slammed 79, Paul Palmer, 47, and Mansingh an unbeaten 34, as Scorpions stumbled to 186-6 at the close, to trail by 74 runs.
The right-handed Lugg struck eight fours and four big sixes in an 82-ball innings, posting 60 for the first wicket with Kirk McKenzie (18) before becoming one of four wickets to tumble for 53 runs and leave Scorpions stuttering on 113-4. Captain Palmer, who faced 97 balls and hit eight fours, repaired the damage in a 72-run, fifth wicket stand with Mansingh, who has so far struck five fours off 99 balls.
However, Hurricanes hit back in the fourth over before the close when off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall (3-47) Palmer well caught at slip and Jamie Merchant bowled through the gate without scoring in the same over.