CAVE HILL, Barbados, CMC - A resolute hundred from opener Jimmy Adams led another solid batting effort from the England Lions in the WICB Regional first-class championship against Combined Campuses & Colleges on Friday.
Adams was undefeated on 115 – his 11th first-class hundred – as the Lions, choosing to bat, reached 260 for four in their first innings at the close on the rain-affected opening day of their fourth round match at the Three Ws Oval.
Craig Kieswetter scored 45, Johnny Bairstow was not out on 34, Andrew Gale got 27, and James Taylor added 22.
Off-spinner Ryan Austin and left-arm spinner Kavesh Kantasingh have collected two wickets apiece for the home team.
Kieswetter gave the Lions a solid base with an opening stand of 63 with Adams before he was caught at slip off Austin after top-edging a reverse sweep in the last hour before the Lions reached 80 for one at lunch.
Gale continued the grind with Adams in a stand of 50 for the second wicket either side of lunch, but he was trapped lbw by Kantasingh in the fourth over after the interval.
The afternoon period proved a successful spell for the CCC, after Kantasingh bowled Lions captain James Hildreth for three, and Austin had Taylor caught at forward short-leg three deliveries before rain stopped play, and prompted an early tea with the Lions on 174 for four.
Bairstow, son of former England wicketkeeper/batsman David Bairstow, came to the crease just before tea, and ushered Adams to his hundred after the break. They have so far added 86 – unbroken – for the fifth wicket to consolidate the Lions’ position.
The Lions made four changes to their line-up, with Bairstow, Chris Woakes, James Harris, and Maurice Chambers brought in to replace Adam Lyth, Liam Plunkett, Nathan Buck, and Jade Dernbach.
For CCC, Shacoya Thomas made his first-class debut as the only change, with player/coach Floyd Reifer sidelined with injury.
CCC and the Lions, as well as three-time defending champions Jamaica all have 24 points, but the home team have effectively risen to the top of the eight-team table ahead of the visitors, under the tie-breaker rules of the competition.
CCC have gained the edge by virtue of their second victory for the season in the previous round, when they crushed Leeward Islands by 158 runs in Antigua. They also beat Windward Islands by 33 runs in their opening match.
The Lions gained first innings points from Trinidad & Tobago in their drawn match from the previous round in one of their toughest contests on this trip so far.
The invitational side does not qualify for the semi-finals and the Final of the competition, so their place in the table does not really matter, but they would still want to finish at the top of the league to prove their superiority over regional opposition, and a strong result in this match would contribute greatly.
ENGLAND LIONS 1st Innings
C. Kieswetter c Currency b Austin 45
J. Adams not out 115
A. Gale lbw b Kantasingh 27
*J. Hildreth b Kantasingh 3
J. Taylor c Bonner b Austin 22
+J. Bairstow not out 34
Extras (b6, lb6, nb2) 14
TOTAL (4 wkts, 84 overs) 260
C. Woakes, J. Harris, A. Rashid, D. Briggs, M. Chambers to bat
Fall of wickets: 1-63, 2-113, 3-133, 4-174
Bowling: McClean 9-0-44-0; Brathwaite 15-4-33-0; R. Reifer 5-1-20-0; Austin 28-5-65-2 (nb1); Kantasingh 21-3-66-2; Bonner 6-1-20-0 (nb1)
COMBINED CAMPUSES & COLLEGES: *O. Phillips, R. Currency, K. Ottley, +K. Corbin, R. Reifer, S. Thomas, N. Bonner, C. Brathwaite, K. McClean, R. Austin, K. Kantasingh
Toss: England Lions
First-class debut: S. Thomas (CCC)
Umpires: G. Brathwaite, C. Duncan
Matchreferee: A. Griffith
Reserve umpire: L. Reifer Jr