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Game could go either way

Haydn Gill

Game could go either way

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A DRAMATIC opening day between Barbados and Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) was followed by gripping roller-coaster exchanges yesterday with twists and turns that have paved the way for an outright result well within the distance.
After 22 wickets tumbled for 220 runs the first day, the second day was less frenetic but just as intriguing and the highlights were an impressive 99 by Jonathan Carter and another Barbados collapse that has left CCC with the hardly daunting target of 173.
In the context of a low-scoring match and taking into consideration the dry nature of the pitch at the 3Ws Oval that continues to offer turn, Barbados will still feel they have a chance of dismissing the hosts who closed out the day on 36 for one.
Barbados, bundled out for 90 in their first innings, showed more purpose in their second turn at the crease, but a final total of 195 would be considered a disappointment after they reached 162 for four in mid-afternoon.
Even if sixth-placed Barbados complete their first win of the season today, their chances of a semi-final spot look bleak after fifth-placed Windward Islands moved into an impregnable position to press for victory against the Leeward Islands at the Beasejour Stadium in St Lucia.
Carter arrived 20 minutes into the morning session after CCC claimed the big wicket of Ryan Hinds, whose off stump was sent out of the hole by Kevin McClean when the Barbados captain’s defence was breached after he went neither forward nor back.
At the time, Barbados were 26 for there – effectively three for three – and there was speculation by some that the match could finish in two days but Carter joined forces with Kraigg Brathwaite to revive Barbados’ fortunes in a fighting fourth wicket partnership of 89.
The left-handed Carter came out and immediately showed positive intent, scoring at a run-a-ball for his first 30 runs before settling down to help Brathwaite deny CCC more success before lunch which was taken at 103 for three.
During the first session, Carter and Brathwaite survived at least six lbw shouts between them, but on resumption CCC eventually made a breakthrough by removing the obdurate Brathwaite for his lunch time score of 29.
After battling for three hours in which he faced 128 balls, Brathwaite was outfoxed by off-spinner Ryan Austin’s arm-ball.
It brought in Shane Dowrich at No. 6 ahead of Kevin Stoute and the repair job continued in a fifth wicket partnership of 47 before the match took a sharp twist with another Barbados slide in which the last six wickets fell for 33.
After Dowrich provided first innings destroyer Kavesh Kantasingh with the first of his four second innings wickets, the attention turned to Carter who was approaching a maiden first-class hundred.
There were no signs of the nervous 90s. Two boundaries off pacer Carlos Brathwaite – a cut to third man and drive through extra cover – took him to 99, but he would be denied the treasured landmark.
In attempting to hit Brathwaite through the on-side, he missed the ball and the middle stump was uprooted. As Carter remained crest fallen, Brathwaite, his cousin, ran all over the ground in delight.
This was a quality knock from Carter in which his driving through the off-side caught the eye, but it was a disappointing end to an innings that lasted 218 minutes in which he faced 180 balls and struck 11 fours and a six.
Barbados’ resistance thereafter was minimal. Without addition, Brathwaite struck another blow by bowling fellow six-footer Jason Holder for a duck in the final over before tea.
On resumption, a third wicket fell with the total on 170 when Stoute gifted his hand for the second time in the match. Once he missed a mighty cross-batted heave against  Kantasingh and the ball hit the pad, it was obvious he would be lbw.
It was only a matter of time that the innings would be completed and Barbados were dismissed 40 minutes after tea when Kantasingh collected his 11th wicket of the match.
CCC had 12 overs to face before the close and Barbados struck an early blow when Rommel Currency became the ninth lbw victim in two days.
Captain Omar Phillips and Shacaya Thomas survived until the close to give CCC a slight advantage ahead of the third day.
After what unfolded over the first two days, however, it appears that this match is far from over.
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