T&T Red Force batsmen finally came good at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy as they closed the first day of the final round of the West Indies Four-day championship on a healthy 338 for five.
Red Force owed this position to a fine unbeaten 89 from Jason Mohammed and half-centuries from openers Jeremy Solozano and the Kyle Hope. Skipper Denesh Ramdin also chipped in with 41.
However, it was Mohammed who stole the show as he batted with great assurance in the midst of an excellent spell of 4/41 from pacer Nicholson Gordon. When stumps were drawn Mohammed was unbeaten on 89 off 149 balls with seven fours and three sixes.
Towards the end of the day, Mohammed forged an unbeaten 64-run stand for the sixth wicket with bowling all-rounder Khary Pierre 26 not out. They will both resume this morning looking to take the total beyond the 400-run mark, as they would want to bat once on this track and put pressure on the Jamaicans.
Earlier, Red Force won the toss and decided to take the first strike on a track with a tinge of green. Openers Kyle Hope and Jeremy Solozano vindicated their captain's decision by seeing off the new ball and early moisture. The two played positive cricket and was able to reel off a number of wonderful shots much to the enjoyment of the students from Marabella South Secondary, who had crossed the Uriah Buttler highway to see the game.
Hope who has struggled in this tournament with only 110 runs prior to this game brought his form in the domestic tournament to the fore and looked good. The Barbadian right-hander who slapped a double century and a century for Clarke Road United in back to back games in the TTCB 50 overs series, was able to partner Solozano to lunch with the score at 116 without loss.
Whatever was served to Jamaican Nicholson Gordon by Superb Caterers at the lunch break seemed to do the magic, as he returned and in an inspired spell he grabbed three wickets within the space of nine runs, to leave Red Force in some problems at 136 for three. Hope was the first to go as he fell leg before to Gordon for 64. He faced 96 balls hitting 10 fours.
Next up was Joshua Da Silva who fell prey to Gordon as he sent him back for four. He then reserved the best for next, as he angled one across the left-handed Solozano for Jermaine Blackwood to snap up a brilliant catch at third slip. Solozano who started the series with a century, could not end with one, as he fell for a 130-ball 63, hitting 11 fours.
RED FORCE 338 for five (Jason Mohammed 89 not out, Kyle Hope 64, Jeremy Solozano 63, Denesh Ramdin 41; Nicholson Gordon 4-49) vs SCORPIONS.
Hurricanes fall for 90
NORTH SOUND, Antigua – Barbados Pride, replying to Leeward Islands Hurricanes’ 90 all out, reached 154 for four in their first innings at the close on the opening day of their rescheduled fourth round match in the Regional Four-Day Championship at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground yesterday.
HURRICANES 90 (Montcin Hodge 24; Keon Harding 5-29, Miguel Cummins 3-34)
PRIDE 154 for four (Shamarh Brooks 79 not out, Shane Dowrich 28 not out; Rahkeem Cornwall 2-58)