T&T Red Force is in prime position to force an outright victory against the Leewards Hurricanes in their eight round WICB PCL four-day clash at the National Cricket Centre (NCC) in Balmain Couva.
At the close of the third day’s play, the Islanders, batting a second time and facing a deficit of 181 runs on first innings, closed on 147/5 – still needing another 34 runs to make T&T bat again.
T&T finished their first innings strongly on 406 all out with half centuries by Imran Khan (82), Narsingh Deonarine (68) and Steven Katwaroo (50).
The Leewards who made 225 in their first innings began brightly with openers Montcin Hodge and Kacey Carty looking unfussed in an opening partnership of 89 runs. However, from the moment one wicket fell, others tumbled and the scorecard was not pretty reading thereafter.
Pacer Marlon Richards got the initial breakthrough when he forced Hodge to edge to Evin Lewis at slip. He made 40 in 102 minutes off 98 balls with two fours.
Soon after, Carty the man who took West Indies U-19 to the World Cup title in Bangladesh two weeks ago, followed him back in the hut. The right hander looked classy during his maiden First Class fifty but fell soon after to Jon Russ Jaggessar. His 59 which caught the eye of the small crowd on hand came in 135 minutes, of 115 balls with nine fours.
T&T bowlers were on the hunt and quickly added the scalps of Daron Cruickshank (4) and Jacques Taylor (0), as the Leewards were reduced to 112/4. Before the end skipper Nkrumah Bonner fell to Imran Khan for 18 and the Leewards closed at 147/5.
T&T resumed on 264/6 and given the depth of their batting, frontline batsman Narsingh Deonarine and wicketkeeper Steven Katwaroo were still there battling.
Deonarine who started the day on 49, easily moved on to this half century and Katwaroo, who played with positive intent the day before continued. The two added 94 runs for the seventh wicket before the burly Cornwall breached Deonarine’s defence to give the Leewards their first smile of the day. Deonarine scored 68 off 240 balls in 166 minutes with 10 fours.
Katwaroo soon brought up his half century but after raising his bat, tucked it under his arm and was off – caught and bowled Alzari Joseph for 50. He batted for 119 minutes, faced 81 balls, six of which he sent to the fence and one over it.
All rounder Rayad Emrit took over and continued the good work but with his score on 19 he turned for a second run and damaged his knee, forcing him to leave the ground. He would take no further part in the innings.
Last wicket pair Marlon Richards and Jon Russ Jaggessar also joined in the fun and added 64 runs before the latter left for 29. Richards was left unbeaten on 29.
Off-spinner Cornwall did the bulk of the work for the Leewards, sending down 41.1 overs in which time he was able to scalp five wickets for 88 runs.