He is known as a windball batting champ but the first time he held a bat for T&T in leather ball cricket, Terrence Hinds smoked an unbeaten century, to leave T&T Red Force on the brink of victory against the Leeward Islands Hurricanes at the end of day three in their West Indies Championship clash at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba, San Fernando on Saturday.
Hinds took T&T to a whirlwind 552 for nine declared just after the lunch period. Hinds followed the lead set by skipper Darren Bravo who scored 133 on day two, to score an unbeaten 102, when the Leewards' punishment came to a halt.
Batting a second time 366 runs in arrears, the Leewards closed the day on 152/7 as Akeal Hosein was brilliant in taking 4/59 with his slow left-arm orthodox offerings. When play resumes today, the final day, they will start 214 runs in arrears with just three wickets standing.
Again the positivity that has been the hallmark of this campaign for the Red Force was there for all to see and the local team carried that with it throughout the day.
Buoyed by a good pitch, the Leewards would have harboured lofty ambitions similar to that of the Jamaican Scorpions who batted five sessions to save the match against the Red Force at the same venue last weekend.
Their openers, Keiran Powell and Montcin Hodge, batted well after Hodge was put down very early by Bryan Charles at slip off Odean Smith. They posted 84 runs, batting very carefully, and it looked like deja vu for the T&T men. However, cricket is a funny game and all of a sudden Hosein turned the innings downwards with a triple strike, Smith accounted for one and a slide of four wickets for 42 runs ensued.
Hosein plucked the dangerous Powell first up for 40 off 78 balls with six fours and then followed with his partner Hodge. The right-handed Hodge made 42 off 121 balls with five fours. There were still two major obstacles in the form of skipper Jahmar Hamilton and Devon Thomas.
Smith, who has bowled very well in this match taking four wickets in the first innings, responded by removing Thomas for 10 and Hosein then delivered the crucial scalp of Hamilton for one. Hosein was not finished as he added the wicket of local boy Amir Jangoo for six and debutant Kissoondath Magram removed Jacques Taylor at 147/6 the Leewards were limping.
Earlier, T&T resumed on the bedtime position of 337/4 and the players arrived to the strains of Machel Montano's song "The Road" as there was a breakfast fete at the venue. Overnight pair Joshua Da Silva and Yannic Carriah came to the crease looking pumped and they just continued where they left off the previous day. Da Silva started on 50 but was sent back for 80 just missing out on a second consecutive century. He faced 116 balls hitting 12 fours.
Carriah as well missed a milestone as he fell for 46 off 81 balls with six fours. The two added 111 runs for the fifth wicket but the partnership that caught the eye was the one between Hinds and off-spinner Charles. They posted 122 runs for the ninth wicket which pushed the total beyond 500 runs.
Hinds playing proper cricketing shots took a liking to leg-spinner Damien Jacobs smacking him out the park on numerous occasions. He brought up a most popular century off 76 balls with eight sixes and seven fours and skipper Bravo ended the innings at 552/9 declared. Just before Hinds getting his century, he lost Charles for a well-played 43 off 57 balls with four fours.
Red Force coach Mervyn Dillon said he was very impressed with the work of his team and it is due in the main to the comfortable work environment they are operating in.
He said: "We have tried to make the working environment as comfortable as possible and it is working for us at the moment. I am happy with the effort by the guys, especially the fight shown by Hinds and Charles with the bat. Smith has also come back and bowled superbly and I am satisfied at the moment."
He was high in praise of the leadership of Bravo saying: "I am really happy with his leadership. Having not much experience in leadership roles before he has really come through and did well for us. I think that his leadership style fits in nicely with my coaching philosophy and this is working well for the team."
LEEWARD ISLANDS HURRICANES 186 (Jahmar Hamilton 55, Alzarri Joseph 35, Keacy Carty 27; Odeam Smith 4-50, Akeal Hosein 2-32) and 162 for seven (Montcin Hodge 42, Kieran Powell 40, Devon Thomas 35; Akeal Hosein 4-56). Hurricanes trail by 204 runs with three second innings wickets intact.
T&T RED FORCE 552 for nine decl. (Darren Bravo 133, Terrance Hinds 102 not out, Joshua DaSilva 80, Jason Mohammed 66, Bryan Charles 43, Keagan Simmons 36; Sheeno Berridge 3-93)