COUVA, Trinidad, CMC – Rahkeem Cornwall blasted a stroke-filled maiden first class century to fire Leeward Islands Hurricanes to a sensational five-wicket victory over Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, and end their otherwise disappointing WICB PCL campaign on a high here yesterday.
The burly 22-year-old finished on 101 not out off a mere 84 balls as the Leewards, resuming the day precariously perched on 34 for two, chased down their target of 241 with time and effort to spare at the National Cricket Centre.
Cornwall was helped by seasoned right-hander Steve Liburd who stroked an unbeaten 51, as the pair combined to add a superb 145 in an unbroken sixth wicket stand.
All told, Cornwall clobbered 11 fours and six sixes while Liburd, who hit 93 in the first innings, faced 144 deliveries in 2-1/2 hours and counted four fours.
The century was his second of the year, following his 113 not out against West Indies Under-19s at the same ground, during the Regional Super50 back in January.
Resuming the final day of the tenth round encounter with 207 runs still required for victory, Hodge and Thomas extended their third wicket stand to 60 before being separated.
Hodge was first to go, adding just six to his overnight 23 before departing to a catch at the wicket off pacer Marlon Richards who was the most successful bowler with two for 34.
With five runs added, Jahmar Hamilton departed without scoring, as the Leewards tumbled to 66 for four, inside the first hour of the morning.
Thomas and Liburd then steadied the innings in a 34-run stand for the fifth wicket. The right-handed Thomas, who got two half-centuries in the last game, powered his way to another half-century. Overall, he struck eight fours off 98 balls in 136 minutes at the crease.
He perished before lunch, however, leaving Liburd and Cornwall to take the Leewards to lunch at 125 for five, with victory still 116 runs away.
They both flourished after the interval with Cornwall taking the attack to the Red Force bowlers and Liburd offering firm support.
The victory for the Leewards was their second straight following on from their win over Jamaica in the last round.
They suffered defeats in their first seven fixtures.
T&T RED FORCE 1st Innings 291
LEEWARDS 1st Innings 277
T&T RED FORCE 2nd Innings 226
LEEWARDS 2nd Innings (target: 241 runs)
(overnight 34 for two)
L Richardson lbw b Gabriel 0
S Peters c wkp Katwaroo
b Richards 0
M Hodge c wkp Katwaroo
b Richards 29
*D Thomas c Imran Khan
b Hosein 57
+J Hamilton c Emrit
b Imran Khan 0
S Liburd not out 51
R Cornwall not out 101
Extras: (b2, lb3, nb2) 7
TOTAL: (5 wkts, 67.3 overs) 245
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-1, 3-61, 4-66, 5-100.
Bowling: Gabriel 8-2-29-1, Richards 12-3-37-2, Emrit 4-0-16-0, Imran Khan 23-5-82-1, Hosein 13-2-35-1, Mohammed 6-1-24-0, Deyal 1.3-0-17-0.
Result: Leeward Islands Hurricanes won by five wickets.
Points: Leeward Islands Hurricanes 17, T&T Red Force 5.
Man-of-the-Match: Rahkeem Cornwall.
Toss: Red Force.
Umpires: D Ramdhanie, R Wimalasiri.