Windwards fightback to even honours

GROS ISLET, ST LUCIA – The Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) surrendered, rather gave away, a great opportunity to build a sizeable first innings lead against the Windward Islands yesterday at the Beausejour Cricket Ground on Day One of their opening Regional Four  Day match.

Rarely does the rain fall in Gros Islet but a light drizzle on Friday night turned into a heavy shower  yesterday morning. As early as 9am  it was already certain that the match wouldn’t start on time. But gradually, the rain blew away.

The game had lost 57 minutes by the time Shacaya Thomas and Anthony Alleyne walked out to open the batting for the CCC. Lyndon James had won the toss in the absence of an ill Liam Sebastien. He opted to field first.

It looked the wrong decision as Thomas and Alleyne comfortably went about the batting. The pitch didn’t play any early tricks, nor did the wet conditions. Instead, the batsmen went about their jobs in quite easy manner. The opening stand was worth 47 runs before Thomas was caught.

But for most of the first session, CCC had not only dominated through Alleyne and captain, Kyle Corbin. They managed to do it scoring at close to five runs an over. Alleyne reached  50 just before the students went to lunch at 103/1.

Ideally, the foundation laid in the first session should have catapulted CCC to a commanding position after lunch. Alleyne and Corbin got through the first hour after lunch relatively easy with Corbin too, going past 50.

Things then took a turn for the worst after Alleyne was dropped by Donwell Hector at gully. He went for the cut and got a thick edge which flew quickly to Hector’s right. The fielder couldn’t get down in time.

The next over, Corbin tried to clear long-on, miserably failing, being caught well inside the rope by Delorn Johnson for 57. Not long after and Johnson would also account for Alleyne. After striking 13 fours in his knock of 84, the opener mistimed a flick and got a leading edge to mid-on. On the stroke of tea, CCC were 183/3, when Umpire Nigel Dugiud removed a bail, sending everyone to their dressing rooms.

It left the final session wide open. Two new batsmen were at the crease in Chadwick Walton and Raymon Reifer. Only two days ago, both had shown good form in CCC’s opening Super50 match against the same team. There were to be no such luck yesterday though. After getting in, Walton edged a delivery from Shillingford that jumped at him to Devon Smith at slip. He went for 27. Reifer too got a start but he was trapped lbw  by a disciplined Shillingford for 16.

Then, in the space of three overs, CCC had gone from 224/5 to 235/7. Floyd Reifer was caught well at cover by Andre Fletcher, and Nekoli Parris edged to give Smith his second catch. He would take a further third at first slip when Akeem Dewar edged Garey Mathurin.

Kevin McClean provided some late entertainment for the few fans present but with five overs to go, he edged Mathurin to wicket-keeper James. His 28 runs, with three fours, had gone a long way to taking the CCC to 272/9.

Jason Dawes (8*) and Ryan Austin (2*) saw off the day’s play, creeping CCC to 280/9 at the close. Shillingford finished with 3/73 while Pascal, Johnson and Mathurin all finished with two.

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