Two Barbadian all-rounders turned in inspirational performances at Kensington Oval yesterday, including maiden centuries to put Barbados in a strong position to earn an outright win, possibly in three days, over arch rivals Trinidad and Tobago.
Ashley Nurse top scored with an unbeaten 130, while Carlos Brathwaite hit 109 as Barbados reached 479 for eight declared. Brathwaite then took three key wickets, including that of West Indies middle order batsman Darren Bravo, to help the home side dismantle T&T’s batting, blowing them away for 120.
Asked to follow on, T&T ended the second day on 44 without loss with Ervin Lewis unbeaten on 37 and Adrian Barath on six.
Left arm spinner Sulieman Benn was the main destroyer with the ball, but Brathwaite made significant strikes at the top of the innings while Nurse helped to wrap up the tail with two wickets for 27 runs.
When Miguel Cummins and Jason Holder were sharing the new ball, concentrating on a line outside off stump, there was little hint of the drama that was about to unfold.
From the time Brathwaite replaced Holder at the Joel Garner end, the bowling suddenly seemed unplayable. In his first over the tall, strongly built medium fast bowler, showing no ill effects from his earlier exertions at the crease, found the edge of Adrian Barath’s bat for Nurse to take a good low catch at second slip leaving Trinidad and Tobago 32 for one. Shortly after, Lewis, failed to beat Jonathan Carter’s return to wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich when called through for a sharp single by Bravo.
Bravo remained scoreless for 16 deliveries but drove the 17th confidently through the covers for four. Next ball, trying to cut at a delivery that bounced appreciably he edged to Dowrich off the bowling of Brathwaite who trapped Jonathan Augustus lbw first ball, sending the Trinis to tea at 45 for four.
There would be no recovery after the break. Yannic Cariah saved the hat-trick and survived a sharp chance to Jonathan Carter at backward short leg off Benn when on three, but without addition the left-hander again turned a ball into the hands of Carter in the same position as the visitors slumped to 54 for five.
Stephen Katwaroo cut Benn straight to Roston Chase at point while Daron Cruikshank edged the same bowler to Nurse at slip. It was also Benn who also ended the resistance of Jason Mohammad (43), lbw pushing forward at 90 for eight.
Nurse then removed Imran Khan and Shannon Gabriel to ensure Barbados a lead of 359.
Earlier Brathwaite launched an immediate attack when Barbados resumed on 243 for five. He knocked leg spinner Khan out of the attack after just one over and treated Gabriel with similar disdain. Gabriel temporarily restored the balance with the wickets of Dowrich (53) who hooked to deep square leg after adding three to his overnight score and Holder who fell lbw.
Nurse then dominated a century stand with Brathwaite that produced 190 runs in five minutes short of two hours.
Barbados earned four batting points and the maximum three bowling points while limiting the visitors to two bowling points.
Barbados vs T&T
BARBADOS 1st Inns
K Brathwaite lbw b Gabriel 0
O Phillips c Barath b Khan 67
K Edwards b Gabriel 41
J Carter lbw b Mohammed 45
R Chase c wkp Katwaroo b Khan 12
S Dowrich c Augustus b S Gabriel 53
C Brathwaite c Emrit b Mohammed 109
J Holder lbw b Gabriel 5
A Nurse not out 130
Extras (B6, LB8, W1, NB2) 17
TOTAL (for eight wickets decl., 124.5 overs) 479
Did not bat: S Benn, J Holder, M Cummins.
Wickets at: 0, 73, 155, 164, 202, 284, 289, 479.
Bowling: Gabriel 22-8-69-4, Emrit 23-5-79-0, Cruikshank 15-2-72-0, Khan 36-5-132-2, Cariah 10-0-52-0, Mohammed 18.5-2-61-2.
T&T 1st Inns
A Barath c Nurse b C Brathwaite 20
E Lewis run out 5
D Bravo c wkpr Dowrich b C Brathwaite 4
J Mohammed lbw b Benn 43
J Augustus lbw b C Brathwaite 0
Y Cariah c Carter b Benn 3
S Katwaroo c Chase b Benn 1
D Cruikshank c Nurse b Benn 0
I Khan c Phillips b Nurse 5
R Emrit not out 25
S Gabriel c & b Nurse 5
Extras (B4, NB5) 9
TOTAL (all out, 37 overs) 120
Wickets at: 32, 33, 45, 45, 54, 60, 64, 90, 94, 120.
Bowling: Holder 5-2-10-0, Cummins 7-0-33-0, Benn 14-6-31-4, Brathwaite 7-3-15-3, Nurse 4-1-27-2.
T&T 2nd Inns (following-on)
A Barath not out 6
E Lewis not out 37
Extras (NB1) 1
TOTAL (without loss, 14 overs) 44
Bowling: Benn 7-4-17-0, Cummins 2-0-9-0, Nurse 4-0-17-0, Chase 1-0-1-0.
Position: T&T trail by 315 runs.
Umpires: G Brathwaite & V Smith.