Jona-ton’s day

Jonathan Carter scored his maiden first-class ton today.
Jonathan Carter scored his maiden first-class ton today.

Jonathan Carter played the defining innings of his career to date when his brilliant maiden first-class century rescued Barbados from complete capitulation and saw them reach 212 on the opening day of their WICB Regional Four-Day Championship semi-final against the Windward Islands at Windsor Park in Dominica today.

Barbados then hit back late in the evening to add to Carter’s early enterprise by snatching three quick wickets as their hosts ended the day on 31 for 3.

Carter, who has impressed many knowledgeable observers with his all-round game that includes batting, wicketkeeping and both medium pace and spin bowling, came to the wicket with Barbados in dire straits on 46 for three and West Indies off-spinner Shane Shillingford, as anticipated, threatening to run through their batting order.

The talented left-hander then proceeded to fashion a superb 116 that provided the main rampart against Shillingford.†After opener Rashidi Boucher (17) was caught by wicketkeeper Lyndon James off left-arm spinner Gary Mathurin with the total on 28, Shillingford quickly dispatched fellow opener Kraigg Brathwaite and captain Kirk Edwards.

First the lanky Shillingford, who has 20 Test wickets in two matches at the ground, had Edwards caught at slip by Devon Smith for a duck and then he accounted for Brathwaite who was snapped up at short leg by Tyrone Theophile for 15 in the 23rd over with Barbados’ innings in go-slow mode.

Carter, batting at number four and Kevin Stoute then took the score to 64 before Shillingford struck again. Stoute mis-timed a drive and offered a soft chance to Andre Fletcher with his score on 9.

Given Barbados’ fragility against spin, Windward Islands’ supporters at the ground probably expected their hometown hero to run through the Barbados lower order. But Carter proved an immoveable object, even if wickets continued to tumble at the other end.

Captain and off-spinner Liam Sebastien broke the Shillingford wicket sequence when he had wicketkeeper/batsman Shane Dowrich caught at the wicket for five in the 34th over to make the score 75 for 5. Then it was back to the Shillingford show. With the score on 86 he breached Ashley Nurse’s defence to bowl him for 3 and with the score on 94 Javon Searles found himself on the wrong side of the crease when he was beaten by Shillingford and James neatly stumped him for three.

Carter had reached his half-century after 98 minutes of diligent batting where he faced 84 balls and struck four boundaries and accounted for more than 60 per cent of the Barbados total. He and Sulieman Benn (6) took the score to 121 before the lanky left-armer was out-foxed by Mathurin and bowled in the 48th over. Then came Barbados’ most productive batting period.

Fast bowler Kemar Roach joined Carter and the two played positively with Carter taking the lead role in trying to put up a respectable total.

Carter got to his hundred 11 minutes after tea when he slammed Shillingford to the midwicket fence for his eighth boundary. His ton came in 169 minutes off 152 balls and also included two sixes.

Roach who mixed solid defence with the occasional aggressive shot, batted for 117 minutes, received 69 balls and hit one four and one six. He and Carter added a vital 91 runs that saved considerable face for the under-performing Barbados batting line-up.

Roach provided Shillingford with his sixth wicket when a lofted shot got no further than the grasp of Delorn Johnson at mid-wicket with the score on 212. Finally, Carter’s magnificent knock came to an end without further addition to the score when he was caught at slip by Smith off Sebastien about an hour after the tea break. In all Carter batted for 219 minutes, faced 192 balls and struck eight fours and three sixes.

Shillingford finished with figures of six for 81 in 31 overs while Mathurin and Sebastien chipped in with 2 for 35 and 2 for 47 respectively.

But that was not the end of the drama for the day.

With all of Barbados’ wickets falling to spin, two expensive overs of pace from Roach were quickly replaced by the all spin attack of Nurse, the off-spinner, and the left-arm orthodox variety of Benn. The results were immediate.Theophile, driving at Benn, was well caught at slip by Nurse for four with the score on 19 in the fifth over. Smith, who had a century in his last outing against Barbados, but has had his difficulties in the past against off-spinners, was caught at silly point by Boucher off Nurse for 14 to make it 21 for 2 in the 8th over. Then Johnson Charles, yet to score a regional first-class century, but with two One-Day International tons, played an irresponsible drive at Nurse and was bowled for five in the 12th over to leave Windward Islands precariously placed at 27 for 3.

At the close the not out batsmen were Fletcher on one and nightwatchman Mathurin on† four. Nurse has so far taken 2 for 5.

The match resumes tomorrow at 10 a.m. (WG)††

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