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Pride final-bound

EZRA STUART in Antigua

Pride final-bound

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Embattled Barbados Pride captain Kraigg Brathwaite finally came good with a third List A century to give the defending champions an excellent chance of reaching Saturday’s final of the Regional Super50 Festival.

At press time, Barbados Pride were poised to defeat English county Kent under the Duckworth-Lewis method in their day-night semi-final at Coolidge last night.

Brathwaite led from the front with an unbeaten 105 off 136 balls in the Barbados Pride’s challenging total of 263 for three in their 50 overs.

He returned with the ball to take one for 35 off ten tidy overs as Kent, set a revised target of 259 off 48 overs after brief showers caused a few stoppages, were struggling on 170 for six in 38 overs, needing a further 89 runs in ten overs.

Brathwaite got great support from Roston Chase, who sustained his rich vein of form with an attacking 81 off 73 balls.

Six-footer Chase smashed nine fours and two sixes in his knock as he carried his aggregate to a tournament-high 514 runs. He shared a 144-run third-wicket partnership with Brathwaite, who hit eight fours and two sixes.

Left-handed opener Omar Phillips also batted aggressively to hit a career-best 62 off 70 balls, with ten fours, as he set the platform for the innings.

Phillips, reeling off a series of lovely boundaries from the bowling of seamer Grant Stewart and Calum Haggett, dominated an opening stand of 93 in 21.3 overs with Brathwaite after Barbados Pride won the toss and batted on a placid pitch.

After bringing up a maiden List A 50 with consecutive boundaries, Phillips missed a sweep at off-spinner Adam Riley and was leg before wicket.

Brathwaite took over the attacking role, as Jonathan Carter managed only four singles off 21 balls before tamely clipping a catch to short midwicket off left-arm spinner Imran Qayyum.

Brathwaite, who reached his fifty off 84 balls off the first ball of the 30th over, and Chase raised the tempo when pacer Ivan Thomas and Calum Haggett were reintroduced. Barbados Pride, who were 169 for two off 40 overs, clouted 94 runs off the last ten overs.

Chase powerfully drove Thomas over long-off for the first six of the innings and square drove him for four in the 42nd over, which cost 13 runs.

The next over from Haggett yielded 14 runs, as Brathwaite pulled a short ball over square leg for his first six and flicked a full toss to long leg for four.

Chase duly reached his fifty with a single off Stewart, who replaced Thomas before cleverly improvising by coming inside his wicket to scoop the ball to the fine-leg boundary before pulling the last delivery of an over which cost 12 runs to the square leg fence.

Brathwaite got into the act, swinging Thomas, who was switched to the northern end over forward square for six. He got two runs to short midwicket from the next ball to post the hundred partnership with Chase as 13 more runs came off the 45th over.

Chase didn’t take his feet off the gas, stepping forward to hoist Stewart over long-on for six. After getting two off the second ball and in spite of four men patrolling the leg-side boundaries, Chase made room and dispatched the third ball to square-leg boundary.

Thomas produced a four-run 47th over with Brathwaite eyeing a century which he duly got with a single off Stewart, who conceded just three in the next over as Chase missed the last three deliveries.

Chase eventually fell off the penultimate ball of the innings, when he was caught at wide long-on off Stewart. Left-arm pacer Dominic Drakes removed openers Zak Crawley and Daniel Bell-Drummond in a six-over new-ball spell.

He trapped Crawley leg before wicket for five and after Bell-Drummond roughed up pacer Chemar Holder, Drakes cut short his innings at 23, inducing an edge to wicketkeeper Tevyn Walcott.

Brathwaite introduced himself at 55-2 after 11 overs and in his second over, bowled Alex Blake for six.

Sean Dickson, with 51, and wicketkeeper Adam Rouse, who made 45, then featured in a flourishing fourth-wicket stand of 64 runs in 14.2 overs.

But leg-spinner Hayden Walsh Jr. made a key strike as Dickson miscued a big hit and skied a return catch which the bowler held over his head.

Antiguan-born Walsh, playing before his home crowd, grabbed a second wicket, when captain Will Gilman, playing across a full length delivery, was leg before wicket.

Chase took the sixth wicket by removing Rouse, who played on. (EZS)