Trinidad and Tobago Red Force pacer Jayden Seales claimed all three Leeward Islands Hurricanes scalps this morning to record his first five-wicket haul in first-class cricket during West Indies Championship action at the Diego Martin Sporting Complex in Diego Martin.
But Seales was unable to savour his individual success for long as a stunning batting collapse by the home team saw the Hurricanes take the third round game by the scruff of the neck.
At the close of play on Day Two, Leeward Islands were 23 without loss and already ahead by 240 runs. Left-handed Nevisian Kieran Powell, who scored 139 runs from 211 balls on Wednesday, is unbeaten on 13.
“I am disappointed in [our] batting,” said Red Force coach David Furlonge. “I am sure the players would be disappointed with the way some of them were dismissed—but today is gone already…”
Twenty-year-old golden boy, Seales, delivered on cue, mopping up the Hurricanes’ tail. But after an opening day display of generally loose bowling, on which Powell feasted, the Red Force attack, Furlonge hoped, would produce an improved showing with the ball today.
In only his second over of the day, Seales had Hayden Walsh Jr (8) caught by Jeremy Solozano before bowling Colin Archibald (21) all over the shop and then inducing an edge from Sheeno Berridge (0) which stand-in captain Joshua Da Silva behind the wicket swallowed.
So after just seven overs on Day Two, Hurricanes were all out. The Red Force batsmen should have been fresh and raring to go on the Diego Martin surface which had held no terrors for the visitors. However, enter 26-year-old Kittitian fast bowler Jeremiah Louis, suitably inspired by the opening day batting of his compatriot, Powell.
With only his second delivery of the match, Louis had Red Force opener Tion Webster caught by Walsh without scoring. In his second over, he accounted for Webster’s opening partner, Solozano, as well as for Jason Mohammed (also for duck) in his third.
At three wickets down for four runs, the Red Force were already deep in trouble. But Darren Bravo, who had come in at three, had over 56 Tests and 3500 runs under his belt along with another 3000-plus ODI runs.
However, the vastly experienced left-hander managed only seven off 35 balls before pacer Colin Archibald sent him back, caught by Terrence Ward.
Trinidad and Tobago were 10/4 after just 11 overs and the pressure was really on.
Yannic Cariah (18) and Akeal Hosein (15) combined with skipper Da Silva (65 off 115 balls) to stop the haemorrhage. But the bleeding did not stop until spinner Bryan Charles (25) joined the wicketkeeper-batsman at 64 for 6. The pair eventually doubled the score before the spinner departed. After that, T&T limped to 140 all out off 58 overs.
There were four changes to the Red Force team for this week’s affair, after successive wins over the Jamaica Scorpions and Windward Islands Volcanoes in February. Webster, Bravo, Shannon Gabriel and Hosein replaced Isaiah Rajah, Terrance Hinds, Keagan Simmons and captain Imran Khan, the last two both ruled out by positive Covid-19 tests.
But, said Furlonge, the Trinidad and Tobago XI’s problem was not chemistry but application and focus.
“I think their bowlers were a little more disciplined than us in their line and length and maybe we were not as patient as we should have been,” the Red Force coach told Wired868. “All [our] guys have played together before even at club level, where a lot of them have played with Queen’s Park. I don’t think it has anything to do with chemistry. We didn’t apply ourselves properly.
“I think the guys are experienced enough to know their mistakes and hopefully they won’t repeat them.”
With two full days remaining—weather permitting—Furlonge has not given up on the contest either.
“So far the game has had six sessions, we lost five—so we are 5-1 down,” he said. “But we will see if we can win the three sessions tomorrow and then come on the fourth day and win two sessions. It is still on but tomorrow will decide it.
“We will see how long they bat and what target they set us, but we will be going for the win.”
The Red Force were not the only favourites to struggle on the resumption of the regional four-day tournament. At the Queen’s Park Oval in Port-of-Spain, defending champions and early leaders Barbados Pride were in all sorts of problems against the Guyana Harpy Eagles.
If Barbados’ woes had a human face, it would belong to Guyanese opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul, whom, like Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar in 1971, the Bajan bowlers couldn’t ‘out at all, at all, at all’.
The 25-year-old left-handed batsman faced 434 deliveries for his unbeaten 140, steering Guyana to 490 for 7 declared. Perhaps Chanderpaul’s strike rate of 32.2 gives a clue about his methodology but his seventh-wicket partnership with Gudakesh Motie speaks volumes.
Together, the pair put on 143 runs for the seventh wicket. Motie scored 110 of them!
By the close of Day Two, the Barbados Pride captain Kraigg Brathwaite, another defiant batsman, had managed just 17 of the 48 his team mustered off 16 overs in reply. His partner Shayne Moseley (17*) and Shai Hope (o*) were still at the crease, with WI middle-order batsman Shamarh Brooks (2) also back in the pavilion.
To claim full points, Guyana will need to get 18 more wickets in the remaining two days against a Barbados batting line-up that includes Jonathan Carter, Roston Chase and Shane Dowrich.
At the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba, the Jamaica Scorpions are certainly in the driver’s seat, thanks to a scintillating knock by Brandon King. Usually an opener, the right-hander batted at number seven and racked up an unbeaten 119 runs from 154 balls with 22 fours. Replying to the Windward Islands Volcanoes’ 137 all out, Jamaica closed at 346 all out.
The Volcanoes bowlers will probably toss and turn in their sleep thinking about Jamaica’s ninth-wicket partnership between King and Jamie Merchant, which added 109 runs from 156 deliveries. Of those, Merchant got 58 off 73 balls, including six fours and three sixes.
In Diego Martin, Seales’ showing was a rare bright spot for the Red Force after two days of cricket.
“He bowled well from [Wednesday] evening in the latter session,” said Furlonge. “He got hit around a bit, but he stuck to what he wanted to do and was able to fight back.”
Furlonge hopes his teammates can similarly find their rhythm against the inspired Hurricanes.
“We can’t do anything about the past, ” said Furlonge. “I am just looking forward to the next two days, Hopefully we can improve our performances.”
Day Two Match Summaries
(At Diego Martin Sports Complex)
Leeward Islands Hurricanes: 358 all out (95.5 overs) (Kieran Powell 139, Amir Jangoo 58, Jeremiah Louis 42; Jayden Seales 5/49) & 23/0 (13.1 overs) (Kieran Powell 13*, Montcin Hodge 5*)
Trinidad and Tobago Red Force: 140 all out (58 overs) (Joshua Da Silva 65, Bryan Charles 25; Colin Archibald 4/27, Jeremiah Louis 4/32)
Leeward won the toss and lead by 240 runs.
(At Queen’s Park Oval)
Guyana Harpy Eagles: 490 for 7 dec. (157.4 overs) (Tagenarine Chanderpaul 140*, Gudakesh Motie 110, Tevin Imlach 53; Akeem Jordan 3/108, Raymon Reifer 2/37)
Barbados Pride: 48 for 2 (16 overs): (Shayne Moseley 17*, Kraigg Brathwaite 17; Veerasammy Permaul 1/2, Keemo Paul 1/18)
Guyana won the toss and lead by 442 runs.
(At Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Tarouba)
Windward Island Volcanoes: 137 all out (51.1 overs) (Keron Cottoy 50, Kavem Hodge 23; Marquino Mindley 5/20, Nicholson Gordon 4/43) & 101/3 (33.1 overs) (Devon Smith 34, Kavem Hodge 30*; Derval Green 2/35)
Jamaica Scorpions: 346 all out (87 overs) (Brandon King 119*, Jamie Merchant 58, John Campbell 48; Preston McSween 4/96, Josh Thomas 3/56)
Jamaica won the toss and now lead by 108 runs.