Simmons’s quick-fire keeps T&T afloat
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – A savage hundred from opener Lendl Simmons gave Trinidad and Tobago a flicker of hope, but Barbados produced a sound batting effort to remain firmly in control of the Regional Four-Day final at Kensington Oval here Friday.
The right-handed Simmons unfurled a shot-filled, unbeaten 111 from a mere 71 balls as T&T, behind by 259 runs on first innings, finished the second day on 140 for four.
Once again, fast bowler Miguel Cummins stunned the Trinidadian top order with a spell of three for 41 to leave the visitors tottering at 54 for three and then 87 for four, and in danger of being bundled out in the evening session.
However, Simmons attacked relentlessly to repel the Barbados attack, counting ten fours and seven towering sixes in an innings that proved the only bright spot for the floundering Trinidadians.
At the close, he was involved in a 53-run, fifth wicket stand with captain Denesh Ramdin who was unbeaten on 13.
Earlier, out-of-favour Test opener Kraigg Brathwaite carved out his fourth first class century to steer Barbados to 369 out.
Resuming the day on 49 with Barbados on 144 for two, Brathwaite continued purposely to reach three figures after lunch, following the last of two interruptions for rain at 1:53 pm.
Overall, the 20-year-old struck nine fours in an innings that required 303 balls in a shade under seven hours at the crease.
Left-hander Jonathan Carter carved out a breezy 47 from 60 deliveries while Kemar Roach hit an enjoyable cameo of 29 from 31 balls down the tail.
Fast bowler Marlon Richards picked up four for 55 while leg-spinner Imran Khan (2-84) and West Indies speedster Shannon Gabriel (2-99) finished with two wickets apiece.
Starting the day 34 runs ahead and looking to build a sizeable lead, Barbados lost nightwatchman Javon Searles for ten, leg before wicket to Gabriel, hitting across the line at 169 for three.
Brathwaite and Carter then combined in an enterprising partnership of 74 for the fourth wicket, to kill off any chance T&T had of making inroads in the first session.
While Brathwaite anchored one end, Carter played with gay abandon, hitting five fours in just under 1-1/2 hours at the crease.
The left-handed Carter was on the verge of a half-century when he was yorked by Gabriel just after lunch and Kevin Stoute followed soon afterward, edging Richards behind to wicketkeeper Steven Katwaroo, filling in for Ramdin.
Brathwaite rode his luck, surviving chances on 96 and then 111, to add to his reprieve when 15 on the previous evening. Unbeaten on 97 at the second rain break, he reached his century in the first over on resumption, with a near suicidal single to mid-wicket.
However, he was one of five wickets to fall for 72 runs before Roach and Cummins (18) put on 40 for the last wicket to rub salt into T&T’s wounds.
With Trinidad facing a long road back, Simmons took matters into his own hands. He made clear his intentions from as early as the opening over, smashing fast bowler Kemar Roach straight for a six and a four.
He collared the Windies pacer in his next over, blasting another two sixes as the over leaked 16 runs, propelling T&T to 38 without loss of just three overs.
Roach was pulled from the attack and replaced by Sulieman Benn but he too came in for rough treatment from Simmons who cleared long on and then twice cut for boundaries, in the left-arm spinner’s first over which cost 16 runs.
Along the way, Cummins cleaned up out-of-form Adrian Barath for two, lbw in the fourth over of the innings, and also accounted for Yannic Cariah (2) and Jason Mohammed (2) to catches in the cordon.
Simmons then put on 33 for the fourth wicket with Akeal Hosein (8) to steady the innings but the left-hander perished when he drove a low return catch to Benn at 87 for four.
Unfazed by the carnage around him, Simmons raised his fifty off a mere 20 balls with his fourth six – lifting Cummins imperiously over cover off the back foot – and then brought up T&T’s hundred by clearing long on with Benn.
He realised his tenth first class century by driving off-spinner Ashley Nurse through point off the back foot, ten minutes before the scheduled close.
With the shadows lengthening, Simmons celebrated with an almighty blow over wide long on off Benn, before bad light stopped play with six overs remaining.
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO 110 (Rayad Emrit 34, Stephen Katwaroo 24; Miguel Cummins 5-30) and 140 for four (Lendl Simmons 111 not out; Miguel Cummins 3-41)
BARBADOS 369 (Kraigg Brathwaite 122, Kirk Edwards 48, Jonathan Carter 47, Rashidi Boucher 46, Kemar Roach 29; Marlon Richards 4-55, Imran Khan 2-84, Shannon Gabriel 2-99)
T&T 1st Innings 110
BARBADOS 1st Innings
(overnight 144 for two)
K Brathwaite b Khan 122
R Boucher c and b Khan 46
*K Edwards c Mohammed b Simmons 48
J Searles lbw b Gabriel 10
J Carter b Gabriel 47
K Stoute c wkp Katwaroo b Richards 6
+S Dowrich c wkp Katwaroo b Richards 6
A Nurse c Barath b Richards 7
S Benn c Emrit b Richards 13
K Roach not out 29
M Cummins c Simmons b Hosein 18
Extras (b4, lb11, nb2) 17
TOTAL (all out, 110 overs) 369
Fall of wickets: 1-62, 2-141, 3-169, 4-243, 5-257, 6-277, 7-291, 8-313, 9-329, 10-369.
Bowling: Gabriel 23-3-99-2, Richards 21-6-55-4, Emrit 17-3-33-0, Khan 23-3-84-2, Hosein 8-0-24-1, Cariah 12-2-50-0, Simmons 4-2-5-1, Mohammed 2-0-4-0.
T&T 2nd Innings
L Simmons not out 111
A Barath lbw b Cummins 2
Y Cariah c wkp Dowrich b Cummins 2
J Mohammed c Nurse b Cummins 0
A Hosein c and b Benn 8
+D Ramdin not out 13
Extras (lb2, nb2) 4
TOTAL (4 wkts, 24 overs) 140
Fall of wickets: 1-38, 2-54, 3-54, 4-87.
Bowling: Roach 2-0-25-0, Cummins 6-2-41-3, Benn 10-0-53-1, Nurse 6-0-19-0.
Position: T&T trail by 119 runs.
Umpires: P Gustard, N Duguid.