BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Speedster Miguel Cummins crippled Trinidad and Tobago with his third five-wicket haul of the season before opener Kraigg Brathwaite helped put the hosts in a commanding position, on the opening day of the Regional Four-Day final yesterday.
Sent in to bat on a grassy Kensington Oval strip, Trinidad and Tobago crashed to 19 for five inside the first hour before tumbling to a hugely disappointing 110 all out, with a fired up Cummins finishing with five for 30.
All-rounder Rayad Emrit made a fighting top score of 34 and Stephen Katwaroo got 24, but the Trinidadian batting had no answer to Barbados’ attack.
Test pacer Kemar Roach picked up two for 35 while experienced left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn finished with two for 13.
Brathwaite, his side’s leading run-scorer this season, then fashioned a typically obdurate unbeaten 49 to steer Barbados to 144 for two at the close, a lead of 34 runs heading into today’s second day.
The right-hander put on 62 for the first wicket with Rashidi Boucher who unfurled a breezy 46 from 51 balls, and then added a further 79 for the second wicket with captain Kirk Edwards who made 48.
Brathwaite’s 45th run saw him to 500 runs for the season.
Full of confidence after their morale boosting win over five-time defending champions Jamaica in last week’s semi-final, T&T were never allowed to settle on a pacy Oval wicket.
In just the fourth over of the day, Adrian Barath fended a short delivery from Cummins to Brathwaite at fourth slip to fall for one with the score on eight and two balls later with no addition, Yannic Cariah edged behind to Shane Dowrich.
Things grew worse for T&T when Lendl Simmons pushed tentatively at the first ball of the next over from Roach and was taken behind, and T&T were in tatters when Jason Mohammed failed to negotiate a short ball from Cummins and parried a catch to Ashley Nurse at second slip to depart without scoring.
Captain Denesh Ramdin, short on runs with just 70 from his last six innings, extended his nightmare form, edging a short ball to Jonathan Carter at third slip off Cummins after spending 20 minutes over three runs.
Katwaroo, in his fourth first class match, and Akeal Hosein in only his second, stemmed the flow of wickets by putting on 32 for the sixth wicket.
The 20-year-old right-handed Katwaroo faced 46 balls in 75 minutes at the crease and struck three fours while Hosein, dropped on 14 by Dowrich off seamer Javon Searles at 42 for five, made 17 off 49 balls in 77 minutes.
Off-spinner Ashley Nurse got the breakthrough, having the left-hander Hosein caught behind pushing uncertainly and Katwaroo followed soon after, stumped down the leg-side off Benn at 64 for seven.
When Imran Khan gifted his wicket, driving Benn to Carter at cover for five and Marlon Richards edged Roach to Benn at first slip, T&T were in turmoil at 70 for nine and in danger of their lowest ever first class score against Barbados.
However, Emrit found an ally in Shannon Gabriel (7 not out), and added 40 for the last wicket to lift T&T past the 100-run mark.
Emrit struck five boundaries off 47 balls in 51 minutes at the crease before falling to a catch at fourth slip by Brathwaite off Cummins, to signal the end of the Trinidadian innings almost an hour after lunch.
Brathwaite and Boucher then quickly erased any hope of a T&T fightback in an uptempo opening stand, fuelled largely by Boucher’s attacking approach.
The right-hander counted eight fours and a six in 66 minutes at the crease, providing the ultimate counter to Brathwaite’s caution.
In one over from Shannon Gabriel, he reeled off three consecutive boundaries – upper-cutting the West Indies speedster for six, cutting him for four and then driving through vacant cover for another four.
He also twice cut seamer Emrit through point but with his third first class half-century beckoning, was caught and bowled by leg-spinner Imran Khan off a leading edge as he looked to play through the on-side.
Edwards then joined Brathwaite to further consolidate Barbados’ hold on the contest.
The host skipper struck five fours and a six – a straight hit off Hosein’s left-arm spin – in an innings that came off 85 balls in 110 minutes at the crease. In contrast, Brathwaite has so far faced 149 balls in three hours and 11 minutes, and hit four fours.
Edwards, too, was eyeing a half-century when he was prised out to a catch at slip by Mohammed off part-time seamer Simmons, with Barbados in cruise control.