Jason Mohammed's highest first-class score, combined with Steven Katwaroo's second half century in as many matches, guided Trinidad and Tobago to their highest score of the season, 406 for nine declared against the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) on the second day of their Regional four-day match at Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain yesterday.
By the end of the day though, CCC were still in the fight thanks to a half century from skipper Kyle Corbin (62), who put on 107 runs for the fourth wicket with all-rounder Raymon Reifer (45 not out), as the visitors reached 174 for four at stumps.
Mohammed replaced his previous best of 124 not out with a gritty 138 yesterday, while Katwaroo made an even 50 in a 104-run sixth-wicket stand, after resuming T&T's innings from an overnight position 285 for five.
Despite the CCC fightback, T&T would have been happy with their work in the morning session when they put on 86 after the visitors took the new ball to start the day's proceedings.
Mohammed hit the second ball of the day for four off Kesrick Williams, and that was a sign of things to come.
He and Katwaroo, who was unbeaten on 28 overnight, also played showed attacking flair, favouring the pull shot whenever the ball was short.
The T&T wicket-keeper was also at the ready when the ball was pitched up, punishing Jason Dawes with a four to the long on boundary to move onto 45.
He eventually brought up his half century off 107 balls with seven boundaries before he was trapped lbw by McClean with the score on 320.
Ten runs later, a rare lapse in concentration from Jason Mohammed saw the batsman chase a wide ball, and the edge was scooped up by CCC wicketkeeper Chadwick Walton in front of first slip.
Yannic Cariah, with a well-played 43 not out, took T&T the rest of the way towards a declaration after lunch, the score seeing him past 200 first class runs, even though he was not given the nod by skipper Dwayne Bravo to try and get his half century.
It was now time for the T&T bowlers to strut their stuff.
But on a decent Queen's Park Oval strip the runs kept flowing as CCC made a strong reply in the early overs, with Shacoya Thomas (29) and Anthony Alleyne (21) playing some aggressive strokes against T&T opening bowlers Ravi Rampaul and debutant Marlon Richards.
Thomas was explosive at the start, pulling Rampaul for six over deep mid-wicket, while Alleyne got off the mark with pull off the same bowler for four.
Richards, who trained under former West Indies pacer Tony Gray during his time at UTT, also took some time to get his length right as Thomas sent him to the ropes twice in one over.
But Richards eventually got his man, Thomas steering a thick edge to Imran Khan at gully for 29.
Rampaul also battled back, taking two wickets in his sixth over. Jamal Smith edged one behind for Katwaroo with the score on 61, and Alleyne skied one that was also snaffled by the Katwaroo behind the stumps.
That is when the CCC skipper and Reifer (R) threatened to take the game away from the hosts.
The pair frustrated the T&T bowling for more than 30 overs before Lendl Simmons made the breakthrough, sending back Corbin with the score on 168.
The match is still in the balance, but the hosts will fancy their chances of clinching first innings points when the match resumes today from 10 a.m.
REGIONAL 4-Day SCOREBOARD
T&T vs CCC
T&T Innings (Overnight: 285/5)
A Barath c Thomas b Williams 14
L Simmons c Smith b Williams 2
I Khan b R Reifer 3
J Mohammed c wkp Walton b McClean 138
DJ Bravo c McClean b Austin 60
K Pollard b R Reifer 45
S Katwaroo lbw McClean 50
Y Cariah not out 43
R Emrit c wkp Walton b Austin 18
R Rampaul c Smith b Austin 5
M Richards not out 9
Extras: (lb14, w1, nb4) 19
TOTAL: (for 9 wkts; 123 overs) 406
Fall of wickets: 10 (Simmons), 19 (Barath), 19 (Khan), 136 (Bravo), 216 (Pollard), 320 (Katwaroo), 330 (Mohammed), 355 (Emrit), 374 (Rampual)
BOWLING: McClean 25-3-81-2 (2nb); Williams 26-4-89-2 (2nb); R Reifer 22-6-56-2 (1w); Dawes 19-0-72-0 (1nb); Austin 31-6-94-3 (1nb)
S Thomas c Khan b Richards 29
A Alleyne c wkp Katwaroo b Rampual 21
J Smith c wkp Katwaroo b Rampual 8
K Corbin c Bravo b Simmons 62
R Reifer not out 45
F Reifer not out 2
Extras: (b4, lb2, nb1) 7
TOTAL: (for 4 wkts; 49 overs) 174
To bat: Walton, McClean, Dawes, Williams, Austin
Fall of wickets: 43 (Thomas), 60 (Smith), 61 (Alleyne), 168 (Corbin),
BOWLING: Rampaul 12-2-49-2 (1nb); Richards 8-0-42-1; Emrit 10-1-31-0; Cariah 3-1-13-0; Khan 9-1-26-0; Simmons 6-3-6-1; Mohammed 1-0-1-0
Toss: Won by CCC, who elected to bowl