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Bajans fight back - Sunday 16, January-2005
After 11 days of persistent rain gave way to clear, blue skies, there was a sensational double-strike of lightning in the north of the island.
The only ones, however, who would have been alarmed was a group of Trinidadians who watched in disbelief as two of their teammatesfell for 99 against Barbados on the second day of their second-round Carib Beer Series match.
Statisticians will have to search long and hard to find the last instance in a regional first-class match when two batsman in the same innings agonisingly fell shy of a century by a single run.
It all happened in a sterling fightback by the two-time defending double-crown champions on a day which was divided into two distinct phases.
Trinidad and Tobago thoroughly dominated the first half when the impressive Tishan Maraj and Imran Jan kept the hosts at bay with a solidfourth-wicket stand of 162.
Barbados turned the tables in the final three-and-a-half-hours in which they claimed the last seven wickets for 25 and made an encouraging response of 120 for one to Trinidad and Tobago’s 280.
Dale Richards, finally making his regional first-class debut more than four years after his first cap for Barbados, ended the day unbeaten on 54, a well-crafted innings that contained six fours and a six off 112 balls.
When stumps were drawn at 5:39 p.m. – the same time as therain-shortened first day – his partner was Kurt Wilkinson on 21, the pair having added 53 after the dismissal of the aggressive Martin Nurse.
The left-hander hit a remarkable six over extra-cover off fast bowler Kyron Lynch, but gifted his wicket for 39 when he tried to heave Amit Jaggernauth’s off-spin over mid-on and ended up giving a catch in the off-side.
Hometown supporters were disappointed in the morning session when Barbados’ bowling attack failed to pose a serious threat to the solid Maraj and the explosive Jan.
They threatened to provide the platform for an imposing total on a pitch that was again on the slowish side, but it never materialised from the promising post-lunch position of 255 for three.
Maraj and Jan fell for the identical score, to catches of varying difficulty to the same fielder in almost thesame position.
The first bout of “lightning” struck45 minutes after lunch.
Maraj, captain of the successful West Indies Under-15 team which won the World Costcutter Challenge in England in 2000, and a member of the regional Under-19 team that qualified for the final at the Youth World Cup last year in Bangladesh, again presented a straight, broad bat, and seemed certain to complete a maiden first-class hundred in only his third match.
He attracted a short ball in the first over of a new spell from fast bowler Jason Bennett. It was slapped firmly, but Kurt Wilkinson came up with a splendid catch to his left at short backward point.
After batting for six-and-a-half-hours and facing 269 balls, the second-year medical student deserved a century for his efforts. He maybe felt he would have had it a few balls before his dismissal but Jan turned down his offer of a single.
The probing Bennett proceded to keep Jan in check, a complete contrast from the morning session when he clobbered four sixes, including a breathtaking stroke over extra-cover off Ryan Hurley, a few minutes after he dispatched a long-hop and full toss off the occasional leg-spinner Shawn Graham over the mid-wicket fence.
While the left-handed Jan carefully moved towards a three-digit score, Barbados gained the initiative by a clatter of wickets.
Their dominance was emphasised by the fact that the second session earned them five wickets for 56 runs, a much more impressive stat than the extended first period, when Trinidad and Tobago did not lose a wicket and added a further 120 runs after resuming on102 for three.
“Lightning” struck again just after tea, with Jan edging a defensive prod into the waiting hands of gully.
Apart him his series of sixes, Jan, who was controversially omitted from the original list of trial invitees, also counted eight fours in an innings that lasted five-and-a-quarter hours and 203 balls.
The probing Collymore also claimed the wickets of Dinish Ramdin, an lbw victim as he played across and Dave Mohammed, who gave a catch to cover, to finish with four for 50 from 23 overs.
At no stage did he show the affects of a side strain that eliminated him from the VB Series in Australia.
The remaining six wickets were shared equally among Hurley, Bennett, and Smith, the latter claiming his towards the end of the innings by way of catches off the outside edge.
Smith was belatedly brought into the attack and his medium-pace might have been a better option in the morning session when captain Sherwin Campbell turned to Graham and Martin Nurse in an effort to get a breakthrough.
The closest they came to a wicket was when Jan offered a firm return chance to the wicketless Ryan Nurse when he was 74.
Compliments of the Nation News
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