Welcome-Goodman foils Empire
Marlon Welcome-Goodman missed a century by three runs but the Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme (BDFSP) still had the distinction of holding leaders and champions-in-waiting ICBL Empire to their first draw for the season.
Welcome-Goodman shared the day’s honours with left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican, who grabbed seven for 62 and moved his tally to 49 wickets, the most for the season.
Resuming from an overnight 36 without loss and still trailing by 76 runs on first innings, BDFSP were bowled out for 239.
Needing 128 from 14 overs to register their seventh straight win, Empire ended on 61 for three when the match was called off with four overs left.
Welcome-Goodman’s blistering 91-ball knock of 97, was punctuated with nine sixes, including five off successive deliveries from slow bowler Alcindo Holder.
He also struck three fours in 144 minutes and took his aggregate to 537.
He was last out, caught at long-off off Warrican, who claimed six of the last seven wickets, including all five after tea, en route to match figures of ten for 124.
The openers Dario Boyce (16) and Renaldo Brathwaite (14) took the score to 60, before both fell to Roston Chase for 41 and 24, respectively. Antonio Greenidge was caught in the deep off Warrican for 15 after pushing his run tally to 504 overall.
Empire moved to 118 points with two matches left, while Maple’s surprise win over St Catherine carried them to 87 points and second spot, with an outside chance of retaining the championship.
However, the “Blues” only need at least nine more points from their last two matches to guarantee a share of the title but Maple must get the maximum 40 points from their remaining games.
Empire will meet last-placed Barbados Youth in the penultimate series and Maple in the rescheduled final round.