BASSETERRE, St Kitts, CMC – Trinidad and Tobago made a huge stride towards the semi-finals of the Regional Four-Day Championship, claiming first innings points over Leeward Islands on the opening day of their seventh round encounter at Warner Park here yesterday.
Left-arm spinner Kavesh Kantasingh and off-spinner Aneil Kanhai combined to take the bulk of the wickets as the Leewards, opting to bat first, were dismissed for 81 to extend their run of wretched form this season.
At the close, T&T were 172 for nine, already a lead of 91 on first innings.
Marlon Barclay has so far top-scored with 39 while opener Evin Lewis stroked 25.
T&T owed much of their success yesterday to Kantasingh and Kanhai who put the Leewards batsmen in a muddle.
While Kantasingh claimed four for 17, Kanhai finished with three for three runs as the Leewards lost their last eight wickets for 14 runs.
Opener Javia Liburd (1) fell with the score on two in the day’s second over when he played away from his body and was caught at the wicket off seamer Rayad Emrit.
Fellow opener Kieran Powell, back in the team after being axed from the Windies side, then combined with Austin Richards to put on 36 for the second wicket.
The left-handed Powell made 20 while Richards top-scored with 31 with four fours.
When Powell departed, caught and bowled by fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, captain Gavin Williams joined Richards to add a further 28 for the third wicket.
Once Richards was taken at backward square by Emrit off Kantasingh at 66 for three, the innings went into terminal decline.
T&T fared little better in their turn at the crease as Justin Guillen (3) perished in the fourth over of the innings with the score on seven.
Thereafter, several batsmen got starts but none could build a big enough innings to put T&T in firm command.
They were pegged back by leg-spinner Hayden Walsh Jr who has taken four for 47 while seamer Lionel Baker (2-14) and off-spinner Jacques Taylor (2-50) finished with two wickets apiece.
LEEWARDS 1st Innings
K Powell c and b Gabriel 20
K Liburd c wkp G Mohammed b Emrit 1
A Richards c emrit b Kantasingh 31
G Williams lbw b Kanhai 19
D Thomas lbw b Kantasingh 2
J Hamilton c Khan b Kantasingh 0
H Walsh c J Mohammed b Kanhai 0
J Taylor not out 1
G Tonge c Khan b Kanhai 4
L Baker run out 1
A Martin c wkp G Mohammed b Kantasingh 1
Extras (b1) 1
TOTAL (all out, 29.3 overs) 81
Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-38, 3-66, 4-74, 5-74, 6-74, 7-74, 8-79, 9-80, 10-81.
Bowling: Gabriel 8-3-18-1, Emrit 5-0-24-1, Kantasingh 9.3-2-17-4, Khan 4-0-18-0, Kanhai 3-1-3-3.
T&T 1st Innings
J Guillen c Tonge b Baker 3
E Lewis c Williams b Taylor 25
M Barclay c Williams b Taylor 39
J Mohammed c wkp Thomas b Walsh 15
A Kanhai run out 19
I Khan c and b Walsh 19
R Emrit c Baker b Walsh 0
T Castro c Williams b Walsh 6
G Mohammed c Williams b Baker 15
K Kantasingh not out 18
Extras (b12, lb1) 13
TOTAL (9 wkts, 63 overs) 172
Fall of wickets: 1-7, 2-36, 3-60, 4-95, 5-123, 6-123, 7-129, 8-142, 9-172.
Bowling: Tonge 7-1-25-0, Baker 8-3-14-2, Taylor 20-3-50-2, Martin 15-4-23-0, Walsh 13-2-47-4.
Position: T&T lead Leewards by 91 runs.
Umpires: Luther Kelly, Vincent Bullen.