BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Former West Indies batsman, Lendl Simmons, struck a superb hundred on his first appearance in first class cricket in just over two years, as Trinidad and Tobago Red Force flourished against arch-rivals Barbados Pride, on the opening day of their seventh round match here yesterday.
The 34-year-old, who last played for West Indies 21 months ago, slammed 138 while Jason Mohammed continued his return to form with a brilliant 121 as Red Force reached 316 for eight at Kensington Oval.
Opting to bat first, Red Force found themselves in early trouble, slipping to 69 for three as the hosts dominated the morning session.
They suffered two early blows in the first hour courtesy of Jamaican pacer Marquino Mindley (3-56) who removed both openers cheaply – Joshua Da Silva caught at gully for seven and Jeremy Solozano caught at the wicket for 12.On 83 for three at lunch, Red Force made an excellent recovery through Simmons and Mohammed who staged a 182-run fourth wicket stand which saw the visitors reach tea at 223 without further loss.
Simmons’s knock was typical up tempo one, stroking 16 fours and five sixes off just 152 deliveries in a shade over four hours. The hundred was his 11th at first class level but first in six years, with his last ironically coming against Barbados at the same venue.
Mohammed, who has struggled this season but broke out of his rut with 83 last week, hit 20 fours off 206 balls in 248 minutes. It was his first eighth first class century.
The partnership was eventually broken when Simmons hooked at medium pacer Kevin Stoute (2-38) and was caught at fine leg, in the fifth over after tea. Red Force then lost wickets at regularly with the last three wickets going down for eight runs.
At Windsor Park, there were half-centuries for opener Montcin Hodge (61) and Keacy Karty (54) as Leeward Islands Hurricanes batted all day to reach 229 for five.
Hodge put on 66 for the first wicket with captain Kieran Powell (29) before adding a further 66 for the second wicket with Carty.
When Hurricanes stumbled with cheap wickets at 138 for three, Carty and Jahmar Hamilton added 51 to further stabilise the innings.
Fast bowler Ray Jordan was the best bowler with three for 45.