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Layne shines

Ezra Stuart

Layne shines

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EXPERIENCED opener Dale Richards made a return to cricket on the opening day of the second Barbados trial match at the St Catherine’s Sports and Social Club, Bayfield, St Philip, yesterday in which the highlight was a half-century from all-rounder Ryan Layne.
Richards hit four fours in an unbeaten 24 in 56 minutes as Marlon Graham’s Team reached 40 for two at stumps in reply to 246 made by Jason Haynes’ Team in their first innings.
Kraigg Brathwaite was snapped up in the slips off the lively Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme pacer Rachid O’Neale for seven, while Omar Phillips was bowled on the back foot for six, attempting to cut a delivery, which kept a little low from off-spinner Kenroy Williams.
But while Richards made a successful return after a three-month lay-off due to an ankle injury, pacer Fidel Edwards, who took a wicket with his fourth ball of a five-over newball spell, had to cut short his second spell after just eight balls.
Edwards stopped bowling in the middle of his seventh over and took the precautionary step of leaving the field after feeling some pain to his hamstring.
Unlike the first trial, none of the batsmen carried on for a century, with Layne getting the topscore of  64. The stocky Layne, who has played a couple of first-class matches, mixed aggression with defence in a 71-ball knock in which he struck seven fours and two sixes in 91 minutes.
Other useful contributions came from Roston Chase (47), Williams (36) and Renaldo Arthur (32) while off-spinner Graham and pacer Miguel Cummins took two wickets each.
Edwards had struck in the day’s first over when he comprehensively bowled Kofie Hurdle for a “duck”. Randy Thomas and Jason Haynes also fell cheaply for four and 11 respectively, leaving the score on 21 for three.
Thomas was well caught by Krisnan Hurdle in the gully, driving loosely at a full-length delivery from Cummins while Haynes was trapped leg-before-wicket by O’Neale, who was the fastest bowler on show during the day, bowling in both innings.
Williams, in his first match of the trials, looked in good nick after he edged O’Neale short of a diving Marlon Graham at third slip. He moved fluently to 36 off 35 balls with seven attractive fours.
Three boundaries came in one over from Cummins, two straight drives and an on-drive. But he got a delivery from left-arm seamer Raymon Reifer that surprised him as he came onto the front foot and lobbed a catch to gully.
After lunch was taken at 85 for four, Patrick Browne was run out for nine at the non-striker’s end by a direct under-arm throw by Hurdle.
But Chase, who was dropped by Phillips at second slip off O’Neale when he was just one, also essayed some classy cover drives as well as straight and on-drives before he was unfortunately caught by Rohan Nurse at silly mid-off.
Chase cut a ball from Graham into the thigh of Nurse and it ricocheted into the air for the same fielder to grab the rebound.
Graham got a second wicket when Kyle Mayers edged a cut into the gloves of wicketkeeper Jamal Smith.
From 139 for seven, Layne and Arthur added 75 for the eighth wicket, the best partnership off the innings.
Layne lofted leg-spinner Shadd Simmons over extra cover for six and after being dropped at second slip by Richards off Cummins on 44. He responded by hoisting the bowler for a straight six to post his 50.
He was eventually trapped leg-before-wicket by left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican while Arthur, who had been dropped on 24 by Smith off Simmons, dabbed a full-length ball from Cummins straight to Raymon Reifer at first slip.
Left-arm spinner Jamar Griffith wrapped up the innings by trapping last man Corey Edwards leg-before-wicket.