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Maiden century a dream come true


HAROLD EASTMOND

Maiden century a dream come true

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WHEN JONATHAN?CARTER?collected his 100th run, he ran the length of the pitch, jumped in the air, clenched his fist, punched the night sky, looked heaven-ward and then signalled towards his teammates on the Barbados balcony.
It was unbridled celebration mixed with a bit of relief. For the left-hander it was a dream performance – a match-winning century for Barbados against their most fierce arch-rivals, Trinidad and Tobago, at Queen’s Park Oval in front a vocal crowd of over 5 000 supporters.
He celebrated because he had boldly stepped onto Trini turf and taken the fight to them. The relief was because he was nervous in the 90s – having twice been dismissed for 99 in his national career.
In the end he made 109 off 111 balls with nine fours and five towering sixes. It was some serious power-hitting from a slim, little man, standing just 5 feet 6 inches.
He added 103 for the third wicket with Dwayne Smith, who damaged Trini pride from the start with a sizzling 83 off 72 balls. Smith reached his 50 off just 39 balls – the fastest half-century in the history of regional 50-over cricket. The result was that Barbados made 269 for eight off 45 overs and won the match by 28 runs.
“It was a bit of both – relief and elation. It’s always a good feeling to score a hundred against a team like T&T. There were a lot of nerves,” Carter said about his achievement.
“Getting out at 99 two times, there would be nerves when I reached 99 again; but having scored two hundreds after that I was able to hold my nerves and get the single.
“I have a point to prove. I have been training really hard to get to this stage and this is what I was looking for from the beginning.
“It’s quite easy to come out and bat with Dwayne – it’s easy to rotate the strike. We just had a plan to bat the majority of the over . . . I was to rotate the strike and Smith was to be Smith. After he got out I knew I had to take over and do the majority of the scoring.”
Before the match, which was Barbados’ 150th at this level, the Barbados team was hit with the news that top-order batsman Kirk Edwards was withdrawn from the squad but the Bajans still responded brilliantly.
They didn’t just win, they made a statement – they could come to Trinidad, outplay the Trinidadians in every department and turn the tables on their arch rivals.
“We all knew everyone was backing Trinidad but when I came to bat they were supporting cricket. It is good to play in Trinidad and there was a warmth from the crowd. They cheered me when I reached triple figures and that was good to see,” Carter said.
The Bajans will travel to Tobago today for their next match against CCC at Shaw Park tomorrow.

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