Barbados’ fortunes in their regional four-day match with the Windwards at Kensington Oval took a turn for the worse yesterday after opening batsman Devon Smith and off-spinner Shane Shillingford helped the tournament leaders reach a nearly impregnable position.
Already teetering on 33 for five in their first innings reply to 184 made by the visitors, the Bajans sank to 64 all out, their lowest ever total against their opponents in regional first-class contests and followed up the shambolic batting with an even more depressing exhibition in the field.
At the close of the second day, the Windwards were 252 for two in their second innings, a lead of 372.
Barbados captain Kirk Edwards opened the bowling with spinners Ashley Nurse and Suleiman Benn but they made little impression as Smith, the leading run-getter in the tournament, racked up his third century for the season to finish the day on 123.
He and opening partner Tyrone Theophille all but shut the hosts out of the contest with a shot-filled 170-run stand. The 23 year-old Theophille was out for 91, his highest first-class score.
He was the first to the half-century mark, stroking six fours and a six off 91 balls, while the 31-year-old Smith, who must certainly have grabbed the attention of the senior selectors with his prolific run-scoring, brought up his own 50 off 90 balls with eight fours. The pair put on 159 by the tea interval as Edwards tried as many as seven bowlers in a vain attempt to break the partnership.
Theophille eventually perished chasing a delivery outside off-stump that he edged to wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich to give Jason Holder his first wicket of the match. Altogether he faced 141 balls and struck 11 fours and two sixes while spending 170 minutes at the crease.
Smith duly went on to a 16th regional ton in 214 minutes, in the process going past 600 runs. It was his 22nd century and at stumps, he had spent more than four and a half hours at the wicket, stroking 18 fours.
Johnson Charles (23) helped Smith to add to the Bajans’ woes in a 59-run stand for the second wicket.
Earlier, Shillingford imposed his presence on the match, grabbing four of the remaining five Barbadian wickets for 12 runs in 8.3 overs of tantalising off-spin.
After deceiving wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich with a perfectly-pitched doosra which the batsman “flicked” to first slip, the wily Dominican trapped Ashley Nurse lbw for a first-ball duck.
Suleiman Benn thwarted the hat-trick but there was to be no respite for the hosts.
Kevin Stoute, the only batsman to offer significant resistance after resuming on 16, was snapped up at short-leg for 33, the only double-digit contribution.
His four fours were the only boundaries of the paltry innings which spanned 33.3 overs in exactly three and a half hours.