T&T Red Force will be battling today to avoid losing their first match of the WICB Professional Cricket League, when their clash against Barbados Pride enters the final day at the Queen's Park Oval.
Following on 264 runs behind, Rayad Emrit's men closed on 165 for three–still needing another 99 runs to make Barbados bat again with seven wickets in hand.
After losing their final three first innings wickets for the addition of just seven runs, folding for 96 in response to Barbados 360, the local men were always up against it.
The pitch played well and batting was not a difficult art during the afternoon. Openers Lendl Simmons and Evin Lewis looked positive and took the score to 38, when the former was unlucky to be given out, leg before off Kemar Roach for 27.
The West Indies fastman went wide off the crease and angled one into Simmons, which appeared to be missing the leg stick but umpire Patrick Gustard thought otherwise.
As the forlorn figure of Simmons trudged off, it looked like same old, same old but the young Yannick Ottley joined Lewis and they were up for a fight.
The two, who represented the West Indies at the ICC U-19 World Cup back in 2010 in New Zealand, knew enough about each others game, as they ran sensibly between the wickets, pinching runs easily. Lewis had problems with his timing but brought up his half century nevertheless, as the fight continued.
The two added 90 runs for the second wicket, when left arm spinner Jomel Warrican, who grabbed 4/12 in the first essay, sent back Lewis. The Tableland left hander was trapped leg before for 61. He batted for 161 minutes, faced 120 balls and struck nine fours.
Up next was Jason Mohammed and he joined a well entrenched Ottley at the crease. Mohammed who failed in the first innings came out guns blazing and played some attractive shots which delighted the handful of spectators on hand. He and Ottley took the score past the 150-run mark and just as they looked like closing up shop for T&T on the day, Ottley fell in the final over.
With the clock showing 5.28 pm the umpires decided to slip in one last over in near darkness. Ashley Nurse then got Ottley to touch one to Dwayne Smith at slip for 44. He batted for 166 minutes and faced 138 balls, striking six fours.
Mohammed left unbeaten on the other end, on 32 will come out this morning looking to continue the battle. He has so far batted for 46 minutes, faced 40 balls and sent five to the fence and one over it.
Earlier, the Red Force resumed on 89 for seven and before worshippers could have said a prayer for them at Sunday morning service, they were all out for 96.
Warrican grabbed all three wickets in the space of 26 minutes and 6.4 overs. The last two recognised batsmen skipper Rayad Emrit (2) and Imran Khan (15) failed to lead a revival and the home team fell short of the 100-run mark.
At the fall of the final wicket, the rain came and washed out the rest of the morning session and play only resumed at 1.45 pm.
Play on the final day today gets underway at 9.30 am.
T&T Red Force vs Barbados Pride
Barbados 1st inns 360 all out
Red Force 1st inns (Overnight 89/7)
L Simmons c Smith b Roach 25
E Lewis c Dowrich b C Brathwaite 10
Y Ottley c Dowrich b C Brathwaite 3
J Mohammed b C Brathwaite 0
Y Carriah c Phillips b Warrican 26
D Ramdin b Roach 0
A Hosein c Holder b Nurse 9
I Khan c Nurse b Warrican 13
R Emrit lbw Warrican 2
M Richards c Smith b Warrican 4
S Gabriel not out 1
Extras nb1 1
Total all out 96
Fall of wkts: 22, 22, 34, 42, 42, 62, 84, 90, 93, 96.
Bowling: K Roach 9-4-25-2, J Holder 9-5-17-0, C Brathwaite 12-5-13-3, A Nurse 8-0-22-1, D Smith 3-0-7-0, J Warrican 5.4-2-12.
Red Force 2nd inns
L Simmons lbw Roach 27
E Lewis lbw Warrican 61
Y Ottley c Smith b Nurse 44
J Mohammed not out 32
Extras lb1 1
Total for 3 wkts 165
Fall of wkts: 38, 128, 165.
Bowling: K Roach 8-2-24-1, J Holder 5-1-23-0, C Brathwaite 5-2-11-0, A Nurse 8.3-1-33-1, J Warrican 14-5-38-1, R Chase 8-2-25-0, J Carter 2-1-4-0, D Smith 1-1-0-0, K Brathwaite 2-1-6-0.