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Phillips blasts 144


Phillips blasts 144

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OMAR PHILLIPS collected his fourth Division 1 hundred and Floyd Reifer was denied his 16th in bizarre circumstances, as holders Sagicor UWI took early command against front-runners LIME in their key LIME Division One seventh-round clash.Phillips hit the top score of 144 and Reifer was unbeaten on 91, as UWI, choosing to bat on a hard, true pitch, declared on 359 for seven about ten minutes before the scheduled close.LIME reached eight without loss in reply, when bad light stopped play seven overs early about 25 minutes after the scheduled close.Fortune favoured Phillips when on ten, as Randy Thomas muffed a chance at second slip off fast-medium bowler and acting LIME captain Corey Edwards.The left-handed opener and UWI captain made the home team pay dearly for Thomas’ mistake, and reached his milestone from 116 balls when he square drove Edwards to the backward point boundary for the 16th four.When he was caught and bowled essaying a lazy straight drive to become the first of two scalps for off-spinner Amory Holder after tea, Phillips had struck 23 fours and two sixes from 168 balls in close to 3 1/2 hours of batting.He was influential in a stand of 58 for the first wicket with Miles Bascombe, 96 for the third wicket with Romel Currency, and 81 for the fourth wicket with fellow left-hander Reifer.UWI were 260 for four when he departed, and Reifer took control in the next hour to fortify the visitors’ grip. He lofted Holder for a straight six to reach his 50 from 45 balls, and formalised the 300-run threshold for UWI, which gave them full batting points.Reifer, the UWI coach, continued to bat with enterprise in familiar conditions, having been a member of the LIME side in a previous incarnation, and put on a valuable 52 for the seventh wicket with Ryan Austin.But Austin was run out when he failed to beat Division 1 newcomer Devon Cox’s throw from wide long-on to the bowler’s end, and with UWI eyeing the declaration, no other batsman was padded-up and ready to join Reifer.Reluctantly, the long-standing left-hander chose to call it quits, and was clearly incensed that he was unable to complete another Division 1 hundred.LIME fielded a depleted team without captain Courtney Browne and all-rounder Ashley Nurse, who leave tomorrow with the West Indies’ High Performance Centre team on its tour of Canada. Nurse has replaced Devon Smith, while Browne, who was the wicketkeeping coach during the three-month training stint at the 3Ws Oval, is accompanying the side in his new role as a West Indies selector.