Fletcher ton takes WI over Bajans

Bridgetown, Barbados – Andre Fletcher scored his second century of the season to upstage an incisive spell from Fidel Edwards, and lead Windward Islands to first innings points over Barbados in the WICB Regional first-class championship on Sunday.

Fletcher made 116 to anchor the Windwards’ batting, as they were dismissed for 350 in their first innings on the third day of their fifth round match at Kensington Oval, to gain a slender first innings lead of nine runs.

Liam Sebastien, the Windwards captain, continued his love affair with the Barbados bowling, and supported with 94, Keddy Lesporis made 50, Lyndon James got 25, and Kevin James added 24.

Edwards, on the comeback trail following spinal surgery last year, threatened to bowl the Barbadians to first innings points for the first time this season with 5-77 runs from 19.4 overs.

But Lyndon James and last man Delorn Johnson spent almost 40 minutes at the crease in a crucial last wicket stand of 23 to hobble the Windwards into the lead. Batting a second time, Barbados reached 8-0 from six overs before stumps were drawn.

Fletcher and Sebastien are the two most recognised batsmen in the Windwards’ line-up, and they batted that way. The pair added 136 for the fourth wicket that put the visitors firmly on course. Fletcher is well known to be a dashing batsman, but this season, he has shown a different side to his batting that many felt he possessed.

He struck 16 fours from 230 balls in close to 5 ¼ hours at the crease, and was genuinely disappointed, when he dragged a delivery from Tino Best into his stumps and was bowled about 45 minutes before tea.

Sebastien seemed poised to score his second century against the Bajans at Kensington Oval until he was lbw playing back and across to Pedro Collins after a 178-ball innings that included one-dozen boundaries in close to 4 ½ hours.

Edwards, who had Lesporis lbw in the morning period before the big partnership between Fletcher and Sebastien, suddenly found a new lease on life after tea. He blew away Gary Mathurin for one, as well as Mervyn Matthew and Kenroy Peters for "ducks" to leave Windwards on 327-9 – and 14 short of the target.

However, the left-handed Johnson joined Lyndon James, and some questionable tactics, as well as wayward bowling from the Barbadians allowed the Windwards to limp over the threshold.

James drove Best through cover for one of his four boundaries to give Windwards first innings points for the fourth time this season, leaving the Barbadians to ponder for the fifth time where they went wrong in their chase of the precious six points.

Best ended with 3-84 from 22 overs, and Collins had 2-80 from 29 overs.

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