Spartan bats hold off Empire

Wayne Holder at Bank Hall,

Added 19 May 2013

051913shanebrownesweeping

Half-centuries by Shane Browne (61) and Rohan Nurse (56) helped Super Centre Spartan resist ICBL Empire’s bowlers in helpful conditions to post 220 all out, five runs short of a third batting point on the opening day of the their second round LIME Elite Division match yesterday. Browne, batting from the fall of the first wicket, stroked nine threes and three fours in a confident 98-ball innings that spanned 165 minutes and shared in a 61-run fourth wicket partnership with Marradon Bend (29). Nurse maintained his rich early-season form to record a second successive score over 50, having notched 65 off CGI Maple on the first day of the season. The 29-year-old right hander, who had six matches for the senior national team in the 2009 regional first class season, played some breathtaking shots on the small ground and counted 11 threes and two fours before he holed out to deep midwicket seeking to hoist offspinner Roston Chase out of the ground for the second time in what turned out to be the final over of the innings. He brought up his 50 off 71 balls with a pull for three to deep squareleg and celebrated reaching the landmark with a sweetly timed slog-sweep for four off the next delivery. In all he hit 11 threes and two fours and faced 75 balls in 98 minutes at the crease. A generous covering of grass on the pitch and overcast conditions would have influenced Empire captain Jamal Smith to invite his guests to take first knock after he won the toss. Barbados opening bat Rashidi Boucher appeared in good touch in the testing conditions but lost partner Akeem Springer with the score on 32, playing on to pacer Brandon Bess. With only one run added to the score, Boucher perished by the run out route after he and Browne got into a tangle over a second run. Nicholas Carter’s uncomfortable stay at the wicket ended when he was adjudged lbw to medium pacer Lemar Mascoll in the bowler’s second spell to bring Browne and Bend together for their counter-attacking alliance. A light shower that came half hour after tea caused the loss of 48 minutes play but on the resumption Nurse took to entertaining the sprinkling of spectators for what in former years used to be the most eagerly anticipated “derby” on the domestic cricket calendar. Chase ran through the lower order for best figures of four for 50, while Mascoll (3-49) and Best (2-33) shared the remainder of the wickets.

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