SHAI HOPE carved out a workmanlike century. Roston Chase was in sublime form in marching to 72 that looked more like a hundred. And debutant pacer Chemar Holder bowled impressively in his first limited-overs outing in senior national colours.
It all contributed to Barbados Pride marching to a mammoth victory by 183 runs over Combined Colleges and Colleges (CCC) Marooners at the Windward Club yesterday to complete a fourth successive win and maintain their unbeaten run in the regional Super50 Cup.
Don’t, however, believe it was a cakewalk for the defending champions.
The Pride were facing a stern test, having been reduced to 43 for three in the 16th over after they were sent in.
Hope and Chase orchestrated a brilliant fightback in a fourth-wicket partnership of 151 that transformed a potentially worrying position into a fighting total of 254 for six from their 50 overs.
It was just about what Barbados would have bargained for and after Kemar Roach and Jason Holder struck in successive overs at the start of CCC’s response, the 19-year-old Holder marked his first limited-overs match with the Pride by striking three blows that left the opponents 58 for six on the way to a disappointing total of 71.
In between, Holder also took a fine, low tumbling catch running in from deep backward square-leg that typified another exemplary effort from the reigning champions, who have now installed themselves as favourites to win Group “A” on the way to the semi-finals.
Barbados Pride needed some stability after struggling through the first hour when they lost the wickets of captain Kraigg Brathwaite, fellow opener Kevin Stoute and Jonathan Carter in the face of an impeccable opening spell from left-arm spinner Ryan Hinds, who hardly bowled a bad ball in six overs that cost just a solitary run.
Hope and Chase, however, skilfully negotiated a tricky pitch to lead a Barbados recovery in contrasting fashion. While Hope built his innings – his 102 required 135 balls – Chase was a joy to watch with impeccable stroke-play, gathering his runs at better than a run a ball.
“I am pleased that we got the win. It was one of those wickets where you had to dig in. It was a bit two-paced, especially at the beginning. Roston played a big part in that partnership, so it made my job easier,” said Hope, who was named Man-of the-Match for his fourth List A century and four dismissals.
‘No easy pitch’
“It wasn’t the easiest pitch to come in and flow. It was difficult for a batter to come in and flow straight away. I saw myself as the person to bat right through the innings.”
Hope benefited from a chance just after passing his half-century and Chase was missed when he was in the 40s, but those aside, the two batsmen played splendidly, counting seven sixes between them, the best of which was probably struck by Chase over long-off from the first ball by leg-spinner Keron Cottoy.
Holder, in the team to replace West Indies “A” team selectee Miguel Cummins, was brought in as a first change to replace his namesake, and immediately made an impact. He bowled with good pace and extracted some bounce, first removing Yanick Ottley, the victim of a catch at the wicket as he attempted to hook. Jameel Stuart was another casualty to a short ball which he miscued to mid-off trying to pull.
After grabbing eight wickets in his first first-class match for the Pride a few weeks ago, Holder earned praise from Hope for his effort on both counts.
“Everyone is pulling their weight and Chemar has done exceptionally well. He looked the part in his first first-class game. It’s nice to see a young fast bowler coming through,” Hope said.
Truth be told, CCC Marooners looked below par in their response with the exception of a fighting 32 by Hinds, and it was their third defeat in four matches.
In contrast, Barbados Pride continued on their merry way towards the semi-finals.
Source: Haydn Gill – Daily Nation