Half centuries by Ryan Hinds and Kevin Stoute revived front-runners ICBL Empire to a respectable total against Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme (BDFSP) in the LIME Elite Division yesterday. Invited to bat on a pitch offering some early bounce, Empire were reduced to 16 for three. However, they were eventually dismissed for 252, thanks to Hinds, who struck an aggressive 84 and Stoute, who made a silky 80 to sustain his rich vein of form. At stumps BDFSP were 24 without loss. Fast bowler Miguel Cummins forced Kodi Phillips to edge a lifting delivery to the wicket-keeper in the day’s fourth ball without scoring. Rachid ONeale trapped Jamal Smith lbw playing to leg without opening his account. There was more joy for ONeale when Roston Chase lobbed a catch to gully, as he too shaped to the on-side. Stoute joined Jason Haynes and for the second consecutive match they had to draw on their vast experience. The pair added 89 for the fourth wicket in good time. Shortly before the tea interval, Haynes was caught at extra-cover off Ackeem Clinkett for 46. It came in 136 minutes off 108 balls and contained nine threes. At the break, Stoute, with his third successive half-century, was unbeaten on 63 and Hinds on five with Empire on 127 for four. Stoute was well caught at short mid-wicket by ONeale off a very firm pull from a short ball by Ackeem Clinkett who took three for 58. His knock, which included two chances in the same over from Ravendra Persaud, was decorated with 11 threes and three fours in 123 minutes from 103 deliveries. Hinds then raised the tempo immensely, smashing 11 threes and four fours off 95 balls in his 145 minute stay. He was caught off Persaud with the second new ball. Cummins claimed three for 56 and ONeale and Persaud two each for 17 and 66 respectively.