Khan, Pierre rescue Red Force after Lewis triggers collapse

Imran Khan … struck an unbeaten 71.

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent,  CMC – All-rounder Imran Khan stroked his second half-century in as many outings while tail-ender Khary Pierre struck his second first class fifty, as they rescued Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in an unbroken century stand, on the opening day of their ninth round encounter against Windward Islands Volcanoes.

Opting to bat first here Thursday, Red Force made a terrific recovery following a nightmare start, to end the day at the Arnos Vale Stadium on 254 for six.

Their innings lay in ruins at 114 for six after lunch but Pierre carved out an unbeaten 80 and Imran Khan finished on 71 not out, to guide the visitors to safety.

The pair have so far posted 140 for the partnership which frustrated Volcanoes after Test seamer Sherman Lewis had gotten through the middle order with three for 54.

There was no sign of the collapse to come when Jeremy Solozano (24) and Joshua Da Silva (14) put on 32 for the opening wicket.

But seamer Ray Jordan trapped Da Silva lbw in the seventh over before new-ball seamer Josh Thomas accounted for Tion Webster (3) cheaply in the next over, to leave Red Force on 35 for two.

Yannic Cariah, who made 36, then tried to repair the innings in a 28-run, third wicket partnership with Solozano, who struck two fours in a 49-ball before becoming one of three wickets to tumble for four runs in the space of 15 deliveries.

In a devastating burst, Lewis claimed Solozano hit wicket and then bowled Jason Mohammed two balls later without scoring, before knocking over captain Denesh Ramdin also without scoring in his next over as Red Force crashed to 67 for five.

Still in danger on 85 for five at lunch, Red Force were revived in a 47-run, sixth wicket stand between Imran Khan and Cariah, which kept Volcanoes without immediate further success.

Left-arm spinner Kavem Hodge then got the breakthrough when he had Cariah caught at short leg, after the left-hander had faced 79 deliveries and counted two fours and a six.

Any thoughts Volcanoes harboured of wrapping up the Red Force innings cheaply were then dashed as Imran Khan, unbeaten on 38 at tea with Pierre on 36, carried their side safely to 173 for six at the second interval, before dominating the final session.

Pierre faced 185 deliveries and cracked seven fours and three sixes while Imran Khan stroked three boundaries in his 201-ball innings.

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