BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Half-centuries from Kavem Hodge and Roland Cato led defiant batting from Windward Islands Volcanoes, but West Indies fast bowler Kemar Roach bowled with purpose to keep Barbados Pride in the hunt in the Regional 4-Day Championship yesterday here.
Hodge hit the top score of 63 and Cato made 56, but Roach grabbed 3-45 from 16 overs, including the prized scalp of Devon Smith, the season’s most prolific batsman, as Volcanoes reached 241 for six, replying to Barbados Pride’s first innings total of 316, on the second day of their eighth-round match at Kensington Oval.
Kyle Mayers was not out on 30 and Shane Shillingford was not out on seven.
Hodge and Cato are the future of the Volcanoes’ batting and they gave a glimpse of what might be possible with the right work and encouragement, sharing 68 for the fourth wicket to bring a bit of stability back to the visitors’ batting, after they were wobbling on 96 for three.
Hodge was at the crease for 157 minutes, faced 137 balls and hit six fours, and Cato batted for 154 minutes, received 116 balls and struck eight fours.
Hodge has benefitted from being a student over the past few years on the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies, a few kilometres north of this venue.
He would be very familiar with many of his opponents, having played for the university’s championship-winning side in the top division of the domestic club competition.
Hodge played some handsome strokes either side of the wicket and reached his 50 from 97 balls, when he drove leg-spinner Hayden Walsh, Jr to deep cover and scrambled for two.
But he once again frustrated his supporters, when he played an ill-advised cross-batted stroke and was caught at deep backward square leg off Roston Chase’s uncomplicated off-spin.
Cato, similarly diminutive, is very easy on the eyes, playing with a very languid style. He too, delighted with an array of crisp strokes, reaching his 50 from 91 balls, when he drove left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican through mid-on crisply for his seventh four.
He however, was run out by Shamarh Brooks’ direct hit at the bowler’s end in the closing stages of the day, when he was left stranded in mid-pitch, after he needlessly tried to steal a single and failed to get a positive response from striker Kyle Mayers.
Earlier, Smith, whose 873 runs is the highest aggregate for the season, and regular opening partner Tyron Theophile, the Volcanoes’ captain, appeared to be giving their side a solid start before Roach bowled the visitors’ veteran left-handed opener for 26, leaving him one short of the 900-run mark.
Volcanoes reached 47 for one at lunch, but suffered a further setback, when Theophile was caught behind off Kevin Stoute for 18.
Barbados-born, discarded West Indies batsman Kirk Edwards showed intent, reaching 16, before Roach, his former schoolmate, found the edge of his defensive bat and wicketkeeper Tevyn Walcott pouched his second victim.
Volcanoes were 95 for three, but Cato came to the crease and with Hodge carried the visitors to 134 without further loss at tea.
After the break, Hodge collected the two required for his 50 and was looking solid before he fell, and Roach bowled Denis Smith, Devon’s nephew, for eight before Cato’s misjudgment.
Pride, starting the day on 296 for nine off 90 overs, were bowled out after the first half-hour’s play, when Jomel Warrican, who resumed on four, was caught behind off Kyle Mayers for 11 – but not before the home team had collected another batting point.
Pride – second in the table on 75.2 points before the match – have so far gained three batting points, two bowling points and 0.8 pace bowling points.
Volcanoes – last on 52.2 points entering the match – have so far earned three bowling points plus one pace bowling points and one batting point.