Barbados come out swinging
BARBADOS’ cricketers struck an important psychological blow when they opened their campaign in the UWI Twenty20 Festival with a hard-fought three-wicket triumph over the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) on Tuesday night at the 3W’s Oval.
Both teams have been drawn in Zone B of the Caribbean Twenty20 tournament, which commences next Monday in Antigua, and the Bajans got one up on their rivals through a clinical display in the field that restricted the hosts, who were invited to bat, to 119 for seven.
Dwayne Smith, with a typically ebullient half century then led the Bajans past the modest target with three wickets and 15 balls to spare.
It was the “students” though, who fired the first salvos of the battle via the bat of wicketkeeper Chadwick Walton, who took advantage of a wayward opening over from left arm spinner Sulieman Benn that yielded 12 runs.
Thirty two runs came off the first four overs before Ryan Hinds, who replaced Benn at the southern end, rattled the wicket of CCC captain Romel Currency with his first delivery.
Hinds’ first spell of three overs for eight runs, backed up by excellent out-cricket by the fielders, stifled CCC’s scoring efforts.
Both Walton (33) and number three Kyle Hope perished by the run out route before offspinner Ashley Nurse, continuing in a similarly economical vein to Hinds, accounted for left handers Floyd Reifer and Kyle Mayers to leave the total on 82 for five from 15 overs.
Ryan Wiggins smote three hefty sixes in a cameo 26 off 16 balls before falling to Hinds, whose return of two for 18 was the best among Barbados’ bowlers. Nurse ably assisted with 2-21.
CCC struck two early blows with Kavesh Kantasingh winning an lbw decision in the first over to get rid of Dale Richards, and Kevin McClean forcing new Barbados skipper Kirk Edwards into a miscued pull shot to be caught in the covers.
Smith took a liking to leg-spinner Akeem Dewar disdaindfully dispatching him over midwicket twice in his only over as he warmed up the damp, chilly surroundings with his brand of electrifying strokeplay.
Kantasingh, returning for a second spell, was crashed for four and the evening’s biggest six, Smith’s fourth, off consecutive deliveries as he raised his 50 which also included three fours from 26 balls to bring the winning target within sight.
An attempt at a flick off Austin’s bowling saw the recent West Indies A skipper being caught at deep square leg for 54 and although “homeboy” Jason Holder snapped up both Hinds and Alcindo Holder in his first over and McClean removed Nurse with seven runs required, little wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich put the issue beyond doubt by lifting McClean over extra cover for four to seal the victory after hooking the same bowler for six.