All eyes were on Terrance Hinds yesterday for his exploits with the bat and Akeal Hosein, for his work with the ball, as the pair combined to take the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force to the brink of an outright win against the Leeward Islands Hurricanes at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba.
At the end of the penultimate day of their second round West Indies Championship four-day match, the hosts needed just three more wickets to complete victory while Hurricanes required a further 204 runs to avoid an innings defeat.
First up, Hinds made his mark with the bat, scoring his maiden first-class century —102 not out — in his first innings for the Red Force as they piled up 552 for nine declared to take a 366-run first innings lead.
Left-arm spinner Hosein then came to the fore, bagging four wickets for 56 runs from 20 overs, running through the Hurricanes’ top order as they collapsed from 84 without loss to 162 for seven at the close, still trailing by 204 runs.
The entertainment began in the first session with Joshua Da Silva blazing away, scoring 80 in a 111-run, fifth-wicket partnership with Yannic Cariah that put Red Force in sight of 400.
Da Silva and Cariah had both scored unbeaten centuries last week against Jamaica Scorpions but they fell short yesterday with Da Silva picking out Amir Jangoo at short mid-wicket, off Devon Thomas’ medium pace.
A couple of overs later Thomas also accounted for Cariah when the left-hander edged one to wicket-keeper Jahmar Hamilton as the hosts slipped to 394 for six.
It appeared the innings would be over in the extended first session but Hinds and Bryan Charles kept the visitors in the field to the lunch break, with the score moving up to 491 for eight.
Charles and Hinds put on 122 for the ninth wicket with Charles hitting 43 off 57 balls, with four boundaries, before trying a slog-sweep off Jacobs and being bowled.
By the time he was dismissed, the hosts had more than enough to declare but with Hinds rampaging, skipper Darren Bravo opted to give his lower order batsman and Queen’s Park Cricket Club teammate some room to flex his muscles.
Hinds faced just 76 balls and struck eight sixes and seven fours to register his maiden first-class ton and he reached the milestone in style, hitting leg-spinner Damion Jacobs for two sixes to the leg-side before walking back to the pavilion.
By the time the declaration came, some 25 minutes after lunch, the lead was well past 300 but with the wicket still good for batting, the hosts needed something special from their bowlers and it was Hosein who stepped up in the final session.
The Hurricanes had a good opening stand, worth 84, between Montcin Hodge (40) and Kieran Powell (42) before Powell tried to hoist the spinner over long-on and found Jason Mohammed just inside the ropes.
Devon Thomas (ten) then chased a wide ball from Odean Smith and was caught at point while Hosein found the outside edge against both Hodge and Jahmar Hamilton (1) as the visitors slipped to 116 for three, late in the day.
Hosein continued to put pressure on the batsmen and found a way past Amir Jangoo’s (6) defence before leg-spinner Kissoondath Magram joined in to remove Taylor without scoring and Keacy Carty for 35, with both men edging to Charles at first slip.
The match concludes today with the Red Force seeking three more wickets to complete an innings victory.
Summarised Regional Four-Day scores:
Guyana Jaguars 209 and 141-3 (V Singh 56 n.o., C Barnwell 26)
Barbados Pride 389 (K Mayers 75, J Carter 73, K Roach 35; K Joseph 4/25)
Windward Islands Volcanoes 387
Jamaica Scorpions 220 (D Green 62; P Mc Sween 3/41, S Lewis 3/62) and 291-3 (J Campbell 101, J Blackwood 76, N Bonner 40 n.o., P Palmer 37 n.o.)