A whirlwind century by opening batsman Kieran Powell today gave the Leeward Islands Hurricanes a commanding start at the Diego Martin Sporting Complex against the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, as action resumed in the four-day West Indies Championship.
at the close of Day One, the Hurricanes were 308 for 7, with lower-order batsmen Jeremiah Louis (16*) and Hayden Walsh (8*) at the crease. But mostly responsible for the sizeable total was the 139 off 211 balls by 32-year-old Nevisian Powell, who once attempted a switch to professional baseball in the US.
This morning, the Cricket West Indies (CWI) formally granted the Diego Martin Sporting Complex ‘first-class status’ , and MP Colm Imbert joined CWI Director of Sport Jimmy Adams in the box for the venue’s first regional match—some four months after it was used for the ICC Men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup.
“Nothing is needed to be done to the venue,” Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) president Azim Bassarath told CWI Media. “The venue is in perfect condition.”
Red Force head coach David Furlonge said he would have been happy with some more grass, though. Furlonge described the surface as ‘easy’ and, having won the toss, the Hurricanes could not wait to have a bat.
Just 11 balls into the innings, Red Force pacer Jayden Seales had opener Montcin Hodge caught by Bryan Charles for a duck. But the visitors built steadily from there, with Powell at the centre of everything.
The left-hander struck 17 fours and two sixes, sharing in a 100-run partnership with Amir Jangoo and two half-century partnerships with Kacey Carty and Terance Warde.
There is no shortage of quality in the Red Force’s bowling line-up, which includes four players with West Indies experience: Shannon Gabriel, Anderson Phillip, Akeal Hosein and Seales. However, Furlonge suggested that they may have been ‘rusty’ after the long break that followed the second round in February.
“We gave away too many boundary balls—when we checked it out, we gave away 160-odd runs in boundaries,” said Furlonge. “[…] The pitch was easy [so we had] to bowl on one side of the wicket and set fields to one side of the wicket. But it becomes difficult if the bowlers are not bowling consistently to the field.
“[…] But saying that, we came back well in the last session and got some wickets. So we are looking to bowl them out early tomorrow.”
The Red Force were led in the feild today not by Imran Khan but by wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva. Furlonge revealed that the Red Force captain, and opener Keagan Simmons had both been ruled out by positive Covid-19 tests.
Top-order batsman Isaiah Rajah and pacer Terrance Hinds were also omitted from the team that beat the Windward Islands Volcanoes by an innings and 43 runs on 17 February, with specialist batsmen Tion Webster and Darren Bravo, along with pacer Gabriel and spinner Hosein taking their places.
The rejigged Red Force line-up will hope to prove their worth tomorrow against the restless Hurricanes, who will leapfrog Red Force into second place with a win in this contest.
A half-hour’s drive away at the Queen’s Park Oval, the Guyana Harpy Eagles tried to give themselves a solid start against defending champions and current table-toppers, Barbados Pride.
Guyana won the toss and also chose to bat, amassing 219 runs for four wickets from their 90 overs. Like the Leewards’, their innings was also built on the back of a contribution from their opening batsman. However, if Powell’s method could be likened to ‘power soca’, Tagenarine Chanderpaul’s measured and deliberate style is more akin to a Black Prince calypso.
At the close of play, Chanderpaul, son of iconic but stodgy former West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul, had faced 259 balls with just six fours in his 64, a strike rate of 24.7.
He is still there and not short of partners. So Barbados captain Kraigg Brathwaite will need to get his thinking cap on.
At the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba where the Jamaica Scorpions and Windward Islands Volcanoes were going at it, there was more obvious excitement to be found.
Both nations lost their opening two matches and a third defeat would mean curtains for any title ambitions in the current season. Today, though, Jamaican pacer Marquino Mindley had something else in, eh, mind for ‘Jamrock’ .
Mindley claimed 5/20 and, with fellow fast bowler Nicholson Gordon snaring 4/43, they hustled the Volcanoes out for 137 in just 51.1 overs. Jamaica closed the day on 118 for 4, with Mindley at the crease as night watchman, after the West Indies batting trio of John Campbell (48), Jermaine Blackwood (26) and Nkrumah Bonner (2) all flattered to deceive.
Brandon King is expected to join Mindley tomorrow morning as the Scorpions look to finally put a win on the board. However, the Windwards pace pair of Preston McSween and Sherman Lewis may well have something to say about that.
West Indies Regional Championship match summaries
(At Diego Martin Sporting Complex)
Leeward Islands Hurricanes: 308 for 7 (89 overs) (Kieran Powell 139, Amir Jangoo 58, Kacey Carty 31; Jayden Seales 2/35)
Leeward Islands won the toss.
(At Queen’s Park Oval)
Guyana Harpy Eagles: 219 for 4 (90 overs) (Tagenarine Chanderpaul 64*, Tevin Imlach 53, Leon Johnson 37; Akeem Jordan 2/50)
Guyana won the toss.
(At Brian Lara Cricket Academy)
Windward Islands Volcanoes: 137 all out (51.1 overs) (Keron Cottoy 50, Kavem Hodge 23; Marquino Mindley 5/20, Nicholson Gordon 4/43)
Jamaica Scorpions: 118 for 4 (30.4 overs) (John Campbell 48, Leroy Lugg 36, Jermaine Blackwood 26; Preston McSween 2/38)
Jamaica won the toss, trail by 19 runs.