Trinidad and Tobago all-rounder Akeal Hosein starred with the ball against the Windward Islands and he did the same with the bat against the Leeward Islands on the second day of the Regional Four-day Championship day/night match at Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain on Saturday.
Hosein, who grabbed 11 wickets with his left-arm orthodox spin in T&T’s win over the Windwards at the same venue, told the Express he was “hurt” that he did not get runs in that game.
He went back to the drawing board, worked with his coaches and on Saturday slammed an unbeaten 102 off 185 balls with nine fours and two sixes, to put his team on course for an early victory against the Leewards.
The 20-year-old left-hander’s century in a seventh-wicket partnership worth 197 with Steven Katwaroo (91 off 202 balls, nine fours) led the hosts to 458 for seven declared at the tea interval on Saturday and by the end of the day, T&T were on course for a win as the Leewards slipped to 86 for nine, still trailing by 372 runs.
Both Katwaroo and Hosein, the two youngest players in the current T&T squad, said they knew they needed to get some runs and both men insisted that their main focus was getting their team to a good total.
The 20-year-old Hosein said when he came together with Katwaroo, they always believed that they could do something special.
“I am not going to ease up on my hard training but this is just a little relief,” Hosein told the Express.
“I have really been pressuring myself to make runs and there are other people around me that always whispering in my ear that I am (a) batsman as well and I need to score runs, so I am just glad I did that,” he added.
About his partnership with Katwaroo, Hosein said: “We have been playing Trinidad and Tobago cricket together for a number of years now. We have a good understanding and we knew once the two of us are out there, we were going to get a big score.
“Both of us really had the belief and we took it in small steps. It is a great feeling to get a hundred.
“I am just really thrilled to see my hard work pay off. It was just a great joy to see I could finally get a hundred. I didn’t even get a hundred in club cricket and didn’t even get a five wicket in club cricket and to come and get five and then a hundred in regional cricket is a great feeling,” he added.
Katwaroo said that when he came in at number seven late on the first day, the team needed someone to stay there and come big.
“I put the team first and just worked with a plan,” said the 21-year-old Katwaroo about his innings.
The wicketkeeper, played it safe for most of his innings to ensure the Leewards did not get another quick wicket but he went on the attack when he needed to in the 110th over, hooking pacer Tonito Willett for four to ensure T&T got to 350 to earn their third batting point.
He was also pleased to have contributed to putting his team in a dominant position.
“This cricket is about patience and must give credit to the bowlers. They were spot on and it is good to know that we gave our team a good chance of winning this game outright,” he added.
After Hosein and Katwaroo’s heroics, pacer Shannon Gabriel grabbed three for 21, hitting the stumps on all three occasions to ensure the Leewards stayed down.
Imran Khan’s diving one handed catch at gully to remove Mali Richards and Jason Mohammed’s run out of Lyndel Richardson at the non-striker’s end from backward point was just the icing on the cake as T&T hardly put a foot wrong.
T&T vs Leeward Islands
T&T 1st Inns (O/N: 263-6)
A Barath c wkpr Hamilton b Athanaze 24
E Lewis handled the bal 78
D Bravo lbw Powell 60
J Mohammed c Hamilton b Willett 22
J Augustus lbw Tonge 61
I Khan c Thomas b Willett 2
S Katwaroo lbw Athanaze 91
A Hosein not out 102
Extras: (B5, LB6, NB6, W1) 18
TOTAL: (for seven wickets dec; 153 overs) 458
Did not bat: Y.Cariah, R.Emrit, S.Gabriel
Wickets at: 56 (Barath), 161 (Lewis), 178 (Bravo), 243 (Mohammed), 261 (Khan), 261 (Augustus), 458 (Katwaroo)
BOWLING: Tonge 28-10-70-1 (1w); Willett 27-7-73-2 (6nb); Martin 33-4-91-0; Athanaze 37-13-76-2; Walsh 20-0-95-0; Powell 8-1-42-1.
Leeward Islands 1st Inns
K Powell c Hosein b Emrit 19
L Richardson b Gabriel 5
M Richards c Khan b Emrit 9
S Joseph run out (Mohammed) 1
D Thomas b Gabriel 1
J Hamilton not out 34
T Willet b Gabriel 0
H Walsh c&b Hosein 6
J Athanaze lbw Cariah 4
G Tonge lbw Khan 5
A Martin not out 0
Extras: (B1) 1
TOTAL: (for nine wickets; 30 overs) 86
Wickets at: 18 (Richardson), 34 (Powell), 35 (Joseph), 36 (Thomas), 36 (Richards), 39 (Willett), 60 (Walsh), 65 (Athanaze), 86 (Tonge)
BOWLING: Emrit 10-1-35-2; Gabriel 9-3-21-3; Hosein 6-1-15-1; Cariah 4-0-15-1; Khan 2-1-7-1
Toss: Won by T&T, who elected to bat first
Umpires: Z Bassarath, V Smith