Half-centuries from Ryan Hinds and Jamal Smith, combined with disciplined lower order resistance from Shawn Graham and Nikolai Charles, helped ICBL Empire reach 243 for eight after being invited to bat by TeleBarbados Carlton in their LIME Elite Division match yesterday.
The quartet neutralized the excellent work of Carlton captain Marlon Graham who threatened to slice through Empire’s batting with figures of four for 40.
The home team has so far earned three batting points, formalized when Charles square cut left arm spinner Dane Currency for three to take the score to 226 for eight. Charles helped Graham put on 58 for the ninth wicket after the second of two batting collapses left the “Blues” on 185 for eight.
That assured Carlton their third bowling point, but Graham and Charles denied the visitors the opportunity of gaining the maximum four points.
After Smith and Jason Haynes (12) put on 47 for the first wicket, Hinds and Smith added 53 for the second. The stand ended when Smith was caught and bowled by Currency for 54 off 92 balls in 121 minutes with nine threes and one four.
Tea was taken with Empire 117 for two, but after the break, Graham picked up his second wicket when he bowled Roston Chase (4) at 118 for three.
Wicketkeeper Carlo Morris held a smart catch down leg side off Graham to remove Kevin Stoute (8) and when the Carlton captain bowled Kodi Phillips to take his fourth wicket, Empire had slumped to 138 for five.
Graham and Hinds steadied the innings in a partnership that yielded 33 for the sixth wicket. Hinds completed his half century off 77 balls in 115 minutes with nine boundaries. But after he was bowled by Dawayne Sealy for 64, made in 173 minutes off 98 balls with three boundaries, Andre Roach and Jomel Warrican fell cheaply as Empire slumped to 185 for eight.
Graham found a superb partner in Charles and the pair took Empire safely to the close at 243 for eight. His unbeaten 46 has come off 92 balls in 124 minutes. He has so far struck one four and four threes.
Charles has so far batted for 49 minutes and faced 53 balls for his undefeated 31 that includes five boundaries.