Thomas hundred keeps Hurricanes in title hunt

Devon Thomas … struck an unbeaten 117.

NORTH SOUND, Antigua,  CMC – In-form veteran Devon Thomas stroked a sparkling less than run-a-ball unbeaten hundred to fire Leeward Islands Hurricanes to an emphatic six-wicket win over Windward Islands Volcanoes here yesterday, and keep the hosts in with an outside chance of winning the Regional Four-Day Championship.

Chasing 166 for victory on the third day of the affair at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, Hurricanes found themselves against the ropes on 26 for four before Thomas unleashed a stroke-filled 117 not out – his sixth first class hundred – to deny the visitors further success.

He put on 142 in an unbroken fifth wicket stand with Terrance Warde who played responsibly for his unbeaten 38, ensuring the home side their sixth win of the campaign.

Hurricanes provisionally have 131.2 points – 23 points adrift of leaders Guyana Jaguars – but with an outstanding game remaining against Barbados Pride next week.

Test pacer Alzarri Joseph had earlier added one to his overnight tally to finish with five for 66 as the visitors were dismissed for 226 after resuming the morning on 91 for five.

Audy Alexander, in his first match of the season, top-scored with an unbeaten 50 off 72 balls with six fours while Alick Athanaze made 32 and Ray Jordan, 29.

Wicketkeeper Denis Smith added just seven to his overnight eight before becoming Joseph’s fifth wicket of the innings but Alexander then anchored three small partnerships to push Volcanoes beyond the 200-run mark.

He posted 36 for the seventh wicket with Athanaze, a crucial 58 for the eighth wicket with Jordan before adding 22 for the ninth with Sherman Lewis (5).

Defending a modest target, Volcanoes hopes were quickly raised when Test pacer Lewis (3-19) wrecked the top order in a lethal burst to leave Hurricanes in disarray.

But Thomas, as he has done several times throughout the season, came to his side’s rescue. With half-centuries in his previous five outings, the right-hander dominated yet again in an innings lasting 105 balls, in just over 2-½ hours and which included 16 fours and four sixes.

Coming to the crease in the second over at the fall of the first wicket, Thomas smashed the first ball he faced for four off pacer Josh Thomas and raced his to his half-century off 53 deliveries.

He needed only a further 40 balls to reach three figures, storming into the 90s with a six off left-arm spinner Alexander in an over that leaked 14 runs, before hitting two consecutive boundaries in the same over to reach his landmark.

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