KINGSTOWN, St Vincent, CMC – The Windward Islands behind big half-centuries from Donwell Hector and Rawl Lewis remained competitive against Trinidad and Tobago in their 11th round WICB Regional Four-day match yesterday.
At close of play Trinidad were 112 for six in their second innings, an overall lead of 216.
Sherwin Ganga displayed his versatility for T&T with a four-wicket haul that ensured a considerable first-innings advantage for his side, but the Windwards, trailing by 104 runs on first innings, hit back by snaring six wickets at the Arnos Vale Ground.
The Windwards’ batting had flourished in the morning as they boosted their overnight position of 134 for four – in reply to T&T’s 361 — with a century stand between captain Lewis and Hector, the promising Vincentian 20-year-old.
The pair added 108 for the fifth wicket and the partnership ended when Hector fell for 99, caught at backward square to become the second batsman in this game to narrowly miss a maiden first-class hundred.
Hector watched in dismay as Imran Khan clutched his pull shot off Sherwin Ganga, who was out for 98 on Sunday’s second day when he top-scored for T&T.
Hector, who had a prolific 2008 season with Austerlands in England’s Saddleworth and District Cricket League, batted for 255 minutes, faced 215 balls and struck eight fours and a six. Ganga struck again quickly when he removed Shane Shillingford caught first-ball at silly mid-off as the score dipped suddenly to 198 for six.Lewis did his best to keep the innings together and was unbeaten on 73 at the lunch break.
The 34-year-old veteran’s 18th first-class half-century came up in 129 minutes off 110 balls with seven boundaries.
The Windwards innings folded midway the post-lunch session when pacer Ravi Rampaul and Ganga combined for four wickets to run through the lower order.
Ganga removed Deighton Butler (13) at 231 for seven and Rampaul, celebrating a recall yesterday to the West Indies squad, struck two quick blows to get rid of Kenroy Peters (11) and Ray Casimir (3).
Lewis was last out for 85, caught on the long-on boundary by Khan as he attacked Ganga. He faced 179 balls, batted for 250 minutes and struck seven fours and one six.
Off-spinner Ganga recorded excellent figures of four for 26 off 13.2 overs with four maidens while Rampaul collected four for 47 off 16 overs and Jaggernauth two for 59.
The Windwards, through their opening bowlers, staged a mild fightback before tea by removing both openers.
Butler sent back Khan (10) at 28 for one and Nelon Pascal trapped talented teenager Adrian Barath (27) leg before wicket on the stroke of tea, taken with visiting T&T on 41 for two.Anxious to complete a double triumph over the Windwards this season, having won their third-round meeting by 166 runs at Guaracara Park in late January, T&T sought to build a match-winning lead in the last session but the Windwards used a stiff bowling attack to deny them that luxury.
T&T were only able to add 71 runs after tea and lost four valuable wickets, two going to the steady medium pacer Peters.
Pascal struck first in the session removing captain Daren Ganga (6) caught at slip trying to cut. Peters then sent back heavy first innings scorer Jason Mohammed (9) caught behind and it became 80 for five when he trapped Sherwin Ganga lbw for two.
Darren Bravo’s dismissal was bizarre and gave the Windwards their last celebratory moment for the day.
Out cheaply for 17 off a rebound catch in the first innings, Bravo was shockingly dismissed in a similar fashion — for 22 — by the same bowler, Shillingford.
Bravo, who had scored a century against the Windwards in the third round, drove the ball which hit Salvan Browne at silly mid-off and another close-in fielder Hector held on to the rebound.
Gibran Mohammed (9) and Rampaul (21) then linked up to lift the score from 80 for six to the close of play position and an unconvincing overall lead of 216.