THWARTED?by a flat pitch and frustrated by dogged batting, Barbados were made to toil for most of the day as their bitter rivals, Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC), posted a satisfying 269 on the opening day of their four-day regional cricket clash at the Three Ws Oval yesterday.
Barbados had to turn to their spinners on a slow pitch with the trio of Sulieman Benn, Ashley Nurse, and Roston Chase delivering 49 overs between them.
Benn, who delivered the majority of his 23 overs of left-arm spin from the pavilion end, overcame a pasting from Kyle Corbin just after lunch, and finished with four for 66, with Nurse, Chase and fast bowler Jason Holder grabbing two each.
Left with just two overs to bat, Barbados went to stumps at three without loss.
It was a good toss to win for the CCC, who opted to drop promising 20-year-old Anthony Alleyne and bring in 41-year-old player/coach Floyd Reifer, while Barbados axed Kevin Stoute for Kirk Edwards with Holder in for the injured Miguel Cummins.
Reifer only made one, falling leg-before to the off-spin of Nurse, but he would have been pleased that three of his colleagues made half-centuries.
Both openers, the cavalier Jamaican Shacaya Thomas (50) and Kyle Corbin (55) provided a sound start, Chadwick Walton cracked a typically belligerent 54, and then late in the day Kavem Hodge and Jomel Warrican batted for 94 minutes in a defiant ninth-wicket stand after the tea break.
The first session, punctuated by two rain breaks, the first for 25 minutes, the latter for just 11 minutes, belonged to the CCC who posted 76 for the loss of just Thomas on the stroke of lunch.
In attempting a back-foot drive off a short delivery from Benn, Thomas was caught at extra-cover by Kraigg Brathwaite after the ball came off the back of silly point. The 25-year-old Jamaican was especially severe on fast bowler Tino Best, launching him for two sixes, the second an upper cut.
Barbados got another breakthrough just after lunch when left-hander Raymon Reifer, playing back, was leg before wicket to Nurse for just two.
The best batting of the day came in the third-wicket stand of 57 between Corbin and Walton, who excited the small ground on hand with some breathtaking strokeplay. Corbin struck Benn straight and out of the ground twice in the space of a couple of overs, thumped Nurse over long-off for another six and then pulled Holder behind square for four to reach his 50.
Walton, comfortable against both pace and spin, counted sixes off Benn and Nurse, but had a reprieve on 27 at 146 for four when he was put down by Carlos Brathwaite at deep mid-off. Brathwaite had to sprint and stretch but got both hands to it.
Holder broke the partnership when he set up Corbin with the short ball.
The 6 ft, 6 in, fast bowler was tossing his arms in delight as Best swooped low at backward square-leg to take Corbin’s mistimed hook.
When Walton fell to Benn, caught at short midwicket, it triggered a slide from 193 for four to 202 for eight, and it seemed Barabados would bat most of the last session, but that was not to be as Hodge and Warrican, two 21-year-olds, better known for their left-arm slow bowling, stalled the Barbadians with a ninth-wicket stand of 56. When Holder finally removed Warrican, his compatriot had batted for 105 minutes.
When the innings ended 12 minutes before close, Hodge, a Dominican, was left unbeaten on 34, his vigil lasting 143 minutes.
It is now left to see if the Barbados batsmen will be similarly defiant today.