Windwards in command

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, CMC – Trinidad & Tobago were put on their heels, when Andre Fletcher and Tyrone Theophile gave Windward Islands a confident start in their hunt for first innings points in the WICB Regional first-class championship on Saturday. T&T’s bowlers failed to make much headway, as Fletcher was not out on 49 and Theophile made 47, and the Windwards, replying to T&T’s first innings total of 220, reached 149 for two at the close on the second day of their fourth round match at the Arnos Vale Multi-Purpose Complex. In between several breaks for rain, T&T had been dismissed shortly after lunch, with Sherwin Ganga finishing the top score of 78. The bottom half of T&T’s batting was undermined chiefly by Delorn Johnson. The former Young West Indies fast bowler snared the last three T&T scalps, and ended with four wickets for 34 runs from 16 overs. T&T’s demolition was completed by Kenroy Peters with two for 33 and left-arm spinner Garey Mathurin with two for 46. T&T bowlers were then manhandled by Theophile, in particular, and Johnson Charles, as Windwards gained an opening stand of 46 either side of tea. Shannon Gabriel made the breakthrough however, when he had Charles caught at first slip for 17. The teams continued to dodge the showers, but the T&T bowlers continued to suffer, as Theophile took languid sixes off Imran Khan and Amit Jaggernauth. But Khan got his way, when he had Theophile caught at slip. The opener struck also struck three fours from 59 balls in just over 1 ½ hours. Any hopes of T&T running through the Windwards top-order was averted, when Keddy Lesporis joined Fletcher, and they continued from where Theophile left off. T&T saw the pair comfortably put on 71 – unbroken – for the third wicket before the close to enhance the home team’s position. Earlier, T&T resumed from their overnight total of 172 for five, and immediately ran into trouble, when Ganga was caught behind essaying a pull at Peters. He batted just over 3 ½ hours, faced 179 deliveries, and struck nine fours. The visitors then lost Amit Jaggernauth caught at backward square leg off Mathurin sweeping before T&T had passed the 200-run mark. Rayad Emrit joined Khan, and they took T&T over the 200 threshold before Johnson returned to the attack to bring a swift close to the innings. The visitors are fourth in the competition, just two points ahead of their opponents, and will be eager to make progress, after they conceded first innings points in their drawn previous match against the England Lions on home soil at Queen’s Park Oval. Windwards are fifth in the Championship on 19 points, and will be confident, following a tense, four-wicket victory over Guyana in the previous round at the same venue. T&T last lost a match to the Windwards by 86 runs five years ago at Shaw Park in Tobago. Since then, T&T have won five of their last six encounters, and collected first innings points in the drawn other match, which coincidentally took place at this same venue. TRINIDAD & TOBAGO 1st Innings(overnight 172 for five) L. Simmons c Lesporis b Johnson 11 J. Guillen c Cottoy b Matthew 9 R. Morton run out 11 *D. Ganga c Cottoy b Peters 2 +D. Ramdin c Cottoy b Mathurin 53 S. Ganga c wkpr James b Peters 78 A. Jaggernauth c Cottoy b Mathurin 16 I. Khan c Lesporis b Johnson 21 R. Emrit c Hector b Johnson 7 Y. Cariah not out 0 S. Gabriel b Johnson 0 Extras (lb8, w3, nb1) 12 TOTAL (all out, 84 overs) 220 Fall of wickets: 1-18, 2-33, 3-33, 4-54, 5-165, 6-187, 7-192, 8-219, 9-220 Bowling: Matthew 18-4-48-1, Johnson 16-4-34-1, Peters 21-9-33-2, Mathurin 14-4-46-2, Cottoy 15-3-51-0 WINDWARD ISLANDS 1st Innings T. Theophile c Morton b Khan 46 J. Charles c Morton b Gabriel 17 A. Fletcher not out 47 K. Lesporis not out 29 Extras (b4, nb6) 10 TOTAL (2 wkts, 40 overs) 149 D. Hector, *+L. James, K. Cottoy, G. Mathurin, M. Matthew, K. Peters, D. Johnson to bat Fall of wickets: 1-46, 2-78 Bowling: Gabriel 10-1-31-1, Emrit 3-1-14-0, Khan 11-1-41-1, Jaggernauth 9-0-28-0, Cariah 6-0-28-0, S. Ganga 1-0-3-0 Position: Windwards trail by 71 runs with eight first innings wickets standing Umpires: G. Greaves, R. Illingworth (England) Matchreferee: S. Allen