BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Openers Omar Phillips and Rommel Currency slammed hundreds against Pickwick to fortify UWI’s bid for a third straight title in the Barbados Cricket Association’s Division 1 Championship on Saturday.
Phillips, the UWI captain, was undefeated on 143 and St. Vincent & the Grenadines-born Currency hit an even 100 to lead the visitors to 294 for two in their first innings when bad light stopped play early on the rain-affected opening day of their 10th round match at Foursquare Oval in the south-eastern parish of St. Philip.
It was the second hundreds for the season for both Phillips, a left-hander good enough to appear in two Tests for West Indies against Bangladesh two years ago, and Currency, the former Windwards opener with 11 seasons of first-class experience under his belt.
The pair added 212 for the first wicket, as Pickwick paid a heavy price for choosing to field on a tarmac-like pitch.
UWI started this round of matches on 116 points – just two ahead of second-placed Maple.
Maple too, enhanced their title chances, when they gained the full four bowling points, despite Empire recovering from 118 for six to total 278 after winning the toss at Bank Hall.
Jomel Warrican, a West Indies Under-19 team player at the last Youth World Cup in January last year in New Zealand, and better known for his left-arm spin bowling, scored a maiden Division 1 half-century, leading the way for Empire with an unbeaten 65 batting at No. 9.
Alcindo Holder made 56 and fellow Barbados discard Shawn Graham hit 53.
National off-spinner Shane Ramsay, the only bowler with over 50 wickets this season, took three for 84 off 16 overs to push his tally to 58. Maple will resume next Saturday on seven without loss.
Former Barbados fast bowler Dayne Maynard, who has transformed himself into an effective opening batsman, missed out on a second career Division 1 hundred for the second time this season.
He fell for 98, as St. Catherine amassed the day’s highest total of 347 against relegation-threatened Banks at The Brewery.
Wicketkeeper/batsman Patrick Browne, who has earned a recall to the Barbados side for the WICB Regional Super 50 Championship, got 63.
Sherwin Campbell, the former Barbados captain and West Indies opener, who is the West Indies Women’s coach, took four for 55 from 15.4 overs including the scalp of Maynard.
Elsewhere, LIME and YMPC, two other teams facing demotion, managed to pick up points.
LIME grabbed full bowling points, when they dismissed Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme for 211 at Wildey, and discarded national all-rounder Ryan Wiggins made 69, as YMPC recovered to post 249 against Carlton, who also have relegation concerns.
Carlton closed on four without loss in the match contested at Beckles Road.
In the other match, Spartan, joint defending champions with UWI, dismissed Barbados Youth for 186 at Queen’s Park.