Brathwaite’s Pride

 Couva, Trinidad and Tobago – Barbados Pride ended the first day of their all-important WICB Professional Cricket League first-class match against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in pole position today.

Playing at the National Cricket Stadium in Couva, Barbados Pride reached 220 for two on a day that was dominated by Pride captain Kraigg Brathwaite. The West Indies opener, who has been in good form during the season, made an unbeaten 105 and at the close was accompanied by Shamarh Brooks on 12.

So far, Brathwaite has batted for 342 minutes, faced 269 balls and hit nine fours and one six. His century came up off the 237th delivery he faced and in 322 minutes. His half-century took 177 minutes off 143 balls with four boundaries. The right-handed batsman became the third Barbados Pride player for the season to score 500 runs during his knock. The others are Roston Chase and Brooks.

At the start of the day Red Force captain Jason Mohammed won the toss and inserted the Pride. Brathwaite and forgotten West Indies opener Omar Phillips started the innings and looked assured from the start. The 29-year-old left-hander averages 40 from two Tests against Bangladesh in 2009, an opportunity gained after a number of senior players withdrew their services. Regional selectors have never given him the opportunity to show his worth further at the international level.

Today Phillips was the dominant partner in a partnership of 79 with Brathwaite. He moved serenely to 49 but in the 31st over bowled by leg-spinner Imran Khan he mistimed an attacking stroke and was caught by Jon-Ross Jagessar at square-leg one short of his half-century. Phillips batted for 118 minutes, faced 92 balls and struck seven fours and one six.

He was replaced by Shai Hope and he and Brathwaite would proceed to frustrate the Red Force for the majority of the rest of the day. The hosts used eight bowlers in their efforts to separate the pair. Medium-pacers Rayad Emrit and Marlon Richards opened the bowling and had 34 overs between them but the day was dominated by spin-bowling as Mohammed sought a breakthrough.

Neither Hope nor Brathwaite looked particularly troubled during the day, despite the occasional alarm. They would go on to add 122 before Red Force met with success. Having not long reached his half-century Hope attempted a big drive off the uncomplicated leg-spin of Yannic Cariah but only got as far as Emrit at cover with his score on 52. Hope batted just over three hours, faced 148 deliveries and struck five boundaries. His wicket fell in the 84th over of the day with the score on 201.

But the day belonged to Brathwaite who notched his 16th first class century. He was his usual solid self and particularly strong on the drive and cut and handled the spin and pace of the Red Force with equal aplomb.

Cariah has 1 for 19 from four overs so far and Khan 1 for 69 off 22 overs.

West Indies middle order batsman Darren Bravo was noticeably absent from the Red Force line-up once again. He had withdrawn from the West Indies team to contest the ICC Twenty20 World Cup citing a desire to concentrate on Test cricket and a wish to play for the Red Force in the WICB’s four-day competition.

This is the third game since withdrawing from the West Indies team that he has missed and today the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board issued a release stating Bravo hadnot sufficiently recovered from a blow to his head which he suffered three weeks ago during a match.The report said Bravo had practised with the national senior cricket team over the last two days but complained of still experiencing headaches and dizziness.

However a report in today’s Trinidad Guardianreported Bravo as being back to “full fitness” with team manager Roland Sampath saying prior to today’s first day: “The presence of Darren Bravo on the team is a major boost and he will definitely motivate the guys out there. Everyone knows his ability and we will be looking forward to something special from him.” (WG)


Pride 1st Innings

*K Brathwate not out 105

O Phillips c Jagessar b Imran Khan 49

S Hope c Emrit b Cariah 52

S Brooks not out 12

Extras (b2) 2

TOTAL (2 wkts, 90 overs) 220

To bat: J Carter, R Chase, +S Dowrich, K Stoute, J Warrican, K Roach, M Cummins.

Fall of wickets: 1-79, 2-201.

Bowling: Emrit 18-7-38-0, Richards 15-2-30-0, Jagessar 16-4-47-0, Imran Khan 22-2-69-1, Deonarine 3-2-1-0, Ottley 3-0-6-0, Jason Mohammed 9-5-9-0, Yannic Cariah 4-0-18-1.

Red Force– *J Mohammed, J Solozano, K Hope, Y Cariah, N Deonarine, Y Ottley, +S Katwaroo, Imran Khan, R Emrit, M Richards, J Jagessar.

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