It was a day of changing fortunes until Barbados gained the edge on the first day over the Windward Islands in the WICB three-day tournament at the Demerara Cricket Club Ground yesterday.
A spirited final spell by Barbadian right arm pacer Justin Greaves earned him 6-33 from 10 overs and he needed one more wicket to complete a hat-trick. He uprooted the off stump of Ray Jordan (3) and Bronte Bess (0) off consecutive balls when the score was 130.
However, this was after right handed batsman Dwight Thomas, almost singlehandedly, revived his team’s innings which was in tatters at 54-5, chasing Barbados’ paltry first innings total of 161 all out from 41.3 overs.
He smashed five sixes, two consecutively, over long off and then over square leg, off left arm spinner Chad Williams to bring up his 50.
That landmark came from 55 balls, studded with five sixes and two fours, from 110 minutes. He asserted himself over the bowlers, something his teammates Sunil Ambris (24) and Emmanuel Peter (21) had done earlier.
However, when Greaves was re-introduced into the attack he broke the troublesome 40-run eighth wicket partnership between Thomas and Jordan.
Subsequently, Thomas, batting sensibly, shielded his last partner, Shaquille Browne, who is yet to come off the mark, before the day ended with his team on 137-9 from 47 overs.
He was unbeaten on 69 (5×6, 4×4). Barbadian captain Kraigg Brathwaite had 2-23 from his 12 overs.
Earlier, after Barbados were inserted to bat, left arm spinner Larry Edward and Kavem Hodge combined to bundle out the team with figures of 5-42 and 3-36 respectively. Neil Browne was left undefeated on 26 while there were starts from Brathwaite (26), Kyle Mayers (26), Anthony Alleyne (23) and Shane Paris (21), who all failed to contribute more significantly.
Meanwhile, Jamaica, sent in to bat, reached 278 for six in their first innings at the close against Trinidad & Tobago at Everest. Teswayne Creary was 73 not out while he got support from John Campbell (55), Aldaine Thomas (39), Bryan Gayle (33).
Creary’s not out partner is Donovan Nelson, currently on 26. Trinidad’s Derone Davis was the pick of the bowlers with 4-64; Jovan Ali chipped in with 2-49.