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Barbados Youth keep Empire on a leash

WAYNE HOLDER at Cane Garden

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INTERIM captain Kemar Brathwaite played a stoic, unbeaten hand as a revamped Guardian General Barbados Youth occupied the crease for the entire day to restrict ICBL Empire to just two bowling points.With the majority of the regular Youth players unavailable as they prepare for the regional Under-19 tournament that starts this week in St Lucia, the Garrison Secondary student rose to the occasion of leading the side for the first time, with a solid, unblemished knock of  71 not out from a first day total of 222 for six.He took full advantage of the rare opportunity to bat at No. 4 and has so far been at the crease for over two and a half hours, facing 163 balls and stroking ten boundaries.Empire won the toss and opted to ask the youngsters to bat first in cloudy conditions after the start of play had been held up for 25 minutes due to a light shower just ahead of the scheduled start.Openers Ricardo Harewood and Marlon Welcome-Goodman were together when another shower forced the players from the field for ten minutes but the former fell to the first delivery after the resumption after the pair had put on 35.Welcome-Goodman (40) took the attack to new ball bowlers Marlon Blagrove and Chesterfield Walcott  before becoming the first of four wickets for leg-spinner Shawn Graham(4-68) who was outstanding in an otherwise ordinary bowling lineup.But Brathwaite who had not yet scored at the tea interval found useful partners in Craigg St Hill (28) Mckhail Austin (14) and wicketkeeper Craig Holder (11 not out) with whom he shared stands of 55, 28, and 55 unbeaten respectively.