TAROUBA, Trinidad, CMC – Opener Montcin Hodge hit his third first class century and anchored a string of partnerships, as Leeward Islands Hurricanes rallied to take honours on yesterday’s opening day of their third round fixture against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force.
The right-hander was unbeaten on 112 at the close at the Brian Lara Stadium as the visitors recovered from the cheap loss of skipper and Test opener Kieran Powell, to reach 291 for six.
Not for the first time, immensely talented all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall signalled the West Indies selectors with a fluent 65 while Akeem Saunders chipped in with 41 and Devon Thomas, 27.
Windies new-ball speedster Shannon Gabriel had a decent warm-up for the first Test against England later this month with three for 42 while leg-spinner Imran Khan supported with two for 99.
Powell, also hoping to impress selectors, was sent back in the morning’s eighth over for six when he was bowled by seamer Daniel St Clair with the score on 17.
However, Hodge then added exactly 44 for the second wicket with Keacy Carty (25), one of several partnerships which kept the Red Force attack at bay.
The right-hander also put on exactly 50 for the third wicket with Thomas before adding a further 57 for the fourth wicket with Saunders who faced just 67 balls and lashed five fours and a six.
Saunders and wicketkeeper Jahmar Hamilton (0) fell in successive deliveries to Gabriel to leave Hurricanes tottering slightly on 168 for five but Hodge stood firm, anchoring a crucial record 101-run, sixth wicket stand with Cornwall.
Overall, Hodge faced 276 deliveries and counted 14 fours and one six while Cornwall’s knock was a typically breezy one, requiring only 84 balls and comprising 10 fours and a six.
The breakthrough came inside the last half-hour of play when Gabriel had Cornwall superbly caught by Amir Jangoo jumping high at second slip.