KINGSTOWN, St Vincent, CMC – Veteran Floyd Reifer compiled a 12th first-class hundred and stood firm for Combined Campuses & Colleges (CCC) against in-form Windward Islands on the opening day of their 10th round WICB Regional Four-day match day.
The left-handed 36-year-old, his side’s most prolific scorer this season, was undefeated on 101 as he wrestled CCC to 231 for seven after they won the toss and chose to bat at Arnos Vale.
It was a remarkable recovery for CCC, who had collapsed to 65 for five soon after lunch before player/coach Reifer, leading the side in place of injured regular captain Simon Jackson, stabilized the innings and repelled the Windwards bowling attack while constructing his second century this season.
The Windwards’ opening bowlers Mervyn Matthew and Nelon Pascal had struck two quick blows and pinned visiting CCC at 10 for two within the first seven overs.
Matthew, with a rising delivery that climbed had the teenager Kyle Corbin caught behind for five and without addition to the score, Pascal dislodged Omar Phillips (5) caught at mid-off.
Wicket-keeper/batsman Chadwick Walton joined Nekoli Parris and partially repaired the damage but Walton (14) fell just before lunch to the in-form off-spinner Shane Shillingford, giving Keddy Lesporis his second catch at mid-off.
Shillingford, who took a second innings six for 57 and a 10-wicket match haul in the Windwards’ upset victory over Barbados in the ninth round, struck twice after the break as the students declined to 136 for six at tea.
Captain Rawl Lewis trapped Jamal Smith (1) leg before wicket immediately after the lunch break and Shillingford terminated promising innings by Parris and Kurt Wilkinson.
The 26-year-old Dominican had his lbw appeal upheld to remove Parris for 39 with four boundaries as the score dipped sharply to 65 for five and the Windwards set themselves up to repeat the fourth-round victory they had over CCC.
Wilkinson linked up with former West Indies batsman Reifer and dragged CCC out of extreme peril with a 58-run sixth-wicket stand that ended when Wilkinson badly miscued an attempted sweep shot and popped a top-edged catch to Lesporis at slip.
Wilkinson scored 34 with three fours and a straight six off Lewis while lifting CCC to 123 for six.
Reifer guided CCC through a fruitful last session when they added 95 runs for the loss of just one wicket – Kevin McClean caught behind off Shillingford for nine, ending a 46-run stand.
Reifer achieved his second hundred in three games – off 160 balls in 236 minutes — when he stroked a delivery from Pascal to cover for two runs. He has so far struck 13 fours and a six over wide mid-on off Pascal while moving with 13 runs of 600 this season. The crafty Reifer, who scored 101 against the Leewards in the seventh-round, used his experience and dominated the scoring late in the afternoon while shaping an unbroken 62-run stand with Ryan Austin (9 not out).
Shillingford finished the day with superb figures of four for 62 off 27 overs with seven maidens to be the chief wicket-taker for the Windwards. From their ninth-round team that upset Barbados at Kensington Oval, the second-positioned Windwards made four changes, inserting Matthew, Altson Bobb, Kenroy Peters and wicket-keeper Lyndon James, for Deighton Butler, Camilus Alexander and the unavailable pair of Darren Sammy and Andre Fletcher, who will be on West Indies Twenty20 duties against England this weekend.
CCC, currently on a six-game winless streak, made three changes to their side that drew with Guyana in the last round, bringing in Anderson Sealy, Omar Phillips and Kurt Wilkinson for captain Simon Jackson, Boris Hutchinson and Khismar Catlin, and Jackson, who suffered a broken thumb ahead of the match.