THE UNIVERSITY of the West Indies’ (UWI) Cave Hill Campus was the perfect place for Kirk Edwards and Kraigg Brathwaite of Barbados to give a batting tutorial in how to build an innings in first-class cricket.
It wasn’t a classroom setting but was played outdoors at the 3W’s Oval where the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC)?student-cricketers were taught a lesson on the second day of their third round WICB Regional 4-Day Championship match against Barbados.
At stumps, Barbados, after adopting a studious approach, were in sight of first innings honours and a second batting point on 248 for four in 97 overs, 21 runs adrift of the CCC’s first innings total of 269.
Edwards cleverly compiled 109, adorned with five fours and four sixes and featured in a record second-wicket partnership of 180 for Barbados against CCC, with the patient Brathwaite.
Brathwaite, who succeeded Edwards as Barbados’ first-class captain, dropped anchor in typical fashion, diligently compiling 85 not out off 274 balls in 368 minutes as he batted through the entire day’s play.
Edwards, in his first match for Barbados since being sent home from Trinidad and Tobago before the start of last month’s NAGICO Super50, logged his second straight century off the CCC attack in an innings which spanned 240 minutes and 204 balls.
Along with two Test tons, it was his eighth overall at the first-class level after making exactly the same score last year when Barbados defeated CCC by an innings and 185 runs in two days at the same venue.
CCC, who used five spinners for 82 of the 97 overs bowled, toiled the entire post-lunch session without success but the experienced off-spinner Ryan Austin grabbed two late wickets, removing Jonathan Carter for an 18-ball “duck” and Roston Chase for one off 18 balls.
Austin ended the day with two for 64 off 27 overs and left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican, in his first game for CCC, has two for 47 in 28 overs.
Earlier, opener Rashidi Boucher got his customary start without carrying on as he was trapped leg before wicket, sweeping at Warrican for 29 after Barbados started the day on three without loss.
Edwards joined Brathwaite and they slowly but surely and sensibly batted Barbados into a strong position, taking the score to 75 for one at lunch and 174 for one at tea.
Edwards took 72 balls to hit his first boundary when he cut leg-spinner Akeem Dewar for four but in that over, the 42nd of the innings, he lofted the same bowler over long-off to post Barbados’ hundred in 153 minutes.
Thereafter, Edwards batted with more enterprise and assurance. In the next over, he pulled Austin over square for four and did the same to CCC’s captain Steven Jacobs, also bowling off-spin, when he replaced Dewar.
He duly reached his 50 in 111 minutes off 108 balls and celebrated by depositing Austin on top the Floyd Reifer Balcony and lifting Warrican for his third six, over long-on in consecutive overs.
Brathwaite, who was missed on 34, at leg slip by Kyle Corbin off Austin, was the perfect foil, even though the first of five fours came off the 196th ball he faced during the post-tea session.
In fact, Brathwaite didn’t hit a single boundary in reaching his fifty just before tea off the 178 balls in the 233 minutes, but he was never flustered as Edwards was scoring freely at the other end.
In the second over after tea, Edwards was mis-stumped on 85 by Chadwick Walton off Austin before hoisting the luckless bowler over long off for six to move into the 90s.
After whipping Austin through mid-wicket for four, Edwards reached his century off 182 balls in 198 minutes. He was finally dismissed when Shacaya Thomas brilliantly held onto a firmly hit shot at long-off to give Warrican his second wicket.
Five runs later, Austin, induced his UWI teammate Carter to edge a sharply turning off break to Corbin at first slip. Then, Chase couldn’t resist sweeping at Austin and paid the price as his third futile attempt lobbed up to Kavem Hodge at silly point, after touching the bat.
Wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich joined Brathwaite and heaved Austin over midwicket for the day’s fifth six to be eight not out.