News day / Having closed Day One with Barbados on strike at 209/4, with captain Kraigg Brathwaite (115 not out) and wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich (50) at the crease, the hosts failed to apply much-needed pressure.
In the end, Brathwaite led with an iron fist and went on to pile on 182, leading the visitors to a healthy total of 360, with the assistance of Dowrichs strong knock of 76. And even though spinners Imran Khan and youngster Akeal Hosein played instrumental roles in restricting the Bajans, at the end of day two, the Red Force were struggling to come to terms at 89/7, trailing by a massive 271 run-margin.
At the resumption of play yesterday, captain Brathwaite and Dowrich returned to the pitch intent on a hefty total. After adding 26 more to his overnight tally, Dowrich was soon sent packing caught by Evin Lewis off some tricky bowling from Khan. In came Carlos Brathwaite, who was only able to face two balls in Khans spell, going out (duck) caught by second slip Lendl Simmons, who sprinted to fine-leg for an easy catch.
Kraigg Brathwaite maintained his stance at the crease and patiently built his strong innings knock by hammering away the bad balls.
In came the lanky pacer Jason Holder, who smashed 17 off 35 balls, but fell victim to a swift caught and bowled dismissal at the hands of Emrit.
Ashley Nurse then stepped to the plate and took a short liking for Hosein, whom he slammed for a six and a four in the same over. Emrit then implemented the wizardry of Yannic Cariah, who faced a similar fate off Nurses bat. However, Hosein would get his wicket as he ousted Nurse (29), with a top-edge into the hands of Simmons off the final ball before lunch.
Kraigg Brathwaites 361-ball knock was ended by Hosein, while Jomel Warrican was the last to go, stumped by Denesh Ramdin off a swinging Khan delivery. Topping the bowling for TT was Marlon Richards (3/51) while Khan (3/74) and Hosein (2/56) also contributed nicely.
With the skies darkening due to heavy cloud cover, national openers Simmons and Lewis took the pitch for the start of a challenging run chase. After two opening maiden overs from Kemar Roach and Holder, Simmons got TT off the mark with a beautiful cover-drive down the ground for four. In the third over, Simmons was dropped at close range by Omar Phillips, who openly admitted that the ball bounced off the field and into his hands.
But, an expectant Lewis was soon back in the stands as he was caught behind by Dowrich off a menacing Carlos Brathwaite delivery. In came Yannick Ottley, whose sudden exit may have triggered the capitulation of TT, quickly caught behind off Brathwaites first delivery following Lewis exit (2/22).
All-rounder Jason Mohammed stepped in and similarly form returned to the stands soon after, bowled by Brathwaite for a paltry score of three. At the tea break, TT were struggling at 42/4. When Simmons and regional Test captain Denesh Ramdin returned, the former was out caught at first slip (Dwayne Smith) off Roachs first delivery after the break. Two balls later, the favoured Ramdin dropped the jaws of the Red Force faithful as his stumps were taken apart by an on-target Roach delivery.
Ramdins prized scalp also propelled Roach to his 200th first class wicket. Following his exit, the heavens opened up with the score at a shabby 42/5. With the youthful pair of Cariah and Hosein at the crease, there seemed some promise in the national batting line-up. Together, the duo stroked a couple fours down the ground in an effort to elevate the stifling score-line.
But, their services were also short-lived as Hosein was next to go caught by Holder (62/6). Cariah continued his cameo knock of 26 before falling victim to a lovely Warrican ball which fell comfortably into the hands of Phillips. For the Barbados Pride, Carlos Brathwaite (3/8) was the pick of the bowlers assisted by Roachs 2/25.
At the close of play yesterday, Khan (13) and captain Emrit (two) were left to ponder on the days happenings and will resume their plight at the same location from 10 am today.
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