Inside the Elite Division
with Keith Holder
Date Published: 2013-06-24
Five first-class players including two debutants star in BCA Series 4 as Empire increase lead at top
Bridgetown, Barbados, June 24 - (www.bcacricket.org) - Five current first-class players - three of them non-nationals including two debutants - and a long-standing top all-rounder produced outstanding performances as three wins were recorded with ICBL Empire opening a 16-point lead at the top of the standings after Series 4 in the BCA LIME Elite division championship.
There were centuries for Barbados players Rashidi Boucher and Kevin Stoute, as well as newcomer Shacaya Thomas of Jamaica, while Thomas' compatriot Akeem Dewar and debutant Trinidad & Tobago all-rounder Akeal Hosein both finished with 12-wicket match hauls - all of their performances resulting in outright wins for their teams.
And Derick Bishop celebrated his 600th wicket feat by hauling in ten wickets along with a half-century but struggling Republic Bank St. Catherine were blunted in their victory quest by bottom-of-the-table Guardian General Barbados Youth.
Boucher lashed his fifth century at this level - 101 for Super Centre Spartan, who demolished BDFSP by ten wickets at Paragon to move into joint second position with ESA Field Pickwick.
Stoute's fourth hundred in the championship - he made 105 - lifted Empire significantly when they were in danger of being led on first innings and to such an extent that they hit back to beat Pickwick by six wickets at Bank Hall, thus becoming the first team to register two wins as they jumped to 48 points - with their victims and Spartan on 32 points.
Empire will next clash with champions for the past four seasons, Sagicor Life UWI - who are now in fourth place on 31 points - at 3Ws Oval.
Thomas, 24, listed as an 'overseas' player, smashed a boundary-studded 106 as UWI raced to a four-wicket win over LIME at Wildey.
Leg-spinner Dewar, who also plays for UWI and the only bowler to take over 50 wickets in the championship last season, finished with 12 for 133.
Hosein, a left-arm spinner and left-hand middle order batsman, and a member of the Sagicor West Indies High Performance Centre, marked his debut with figures of 12 for 81 for Spartan.
Bishop ended with ten for 136 and scored 58.
Empire made significant strides in their quest for their first major league title since 2004 with a six-wicket win after Stoute's inspirational century on the second day.
Responding to a first innings total of 193, Empire were struggling on 158 for nine in the face of fine off-spin bowling from Romelle Small before Stoute and fast bowler Tennyson Roach added 88.
Stoute was at the crease for 159 minutes, faced 105 balls and struck 15 threes and five fours. His hundred came in 155 minuets off 99 balls and contained 14 threes and five fours.
Opener Kodi Phillips contributed 42 while Roach made 30 not out.
Small took six for 74 off 23 overs while left-arm spinner Kemar Stanford picked up four for 57.
With a deficit of 53, Pickwick were under a bit of pressure on 31 for three in their second innings by the close of the second day.
They eventually rallied to 189 all out with Zahir Motara, a fast bowler of national basketball fame, hitting a belligerent 68 which came of 79 balls with 15 threes and two fours.
Set 137 to win in 43 overs, Empire reached the target in 27 overs. Former Barbados captain and opener Jason Haynes made an unbeaten 56 and another ex-national player, Alcindo Holder, 40 not out in a fifth wicket partnership of 55.
St. Catherine would have been bitterly disappointed that they were unable to beat a side who are exempted from demotion but moreso because going into the final day, Barbados Youth only led by 50 overall with five wickets standing.
But on a ground which they hold dearly for strong batting and blunting teams, Barbados Youth owed their honourable draw mainly to the Foundation pair of Aaron Jones and Zacharry McCaskie.
All-rounder Jones, a Barbados Under-19 team player and McCaskie, who has been selected in the national Under-17 side, featured in sixth-wicket stand of 141.
Jones made 88 and McCaskie 65 while another Foundation player, fast bowling all-rounder Jofra Archer, who has also been selected in the Barbados Under-19 team, slammed 53 not out
to follow his first innings unbeaten 32.
Barbados Youth were eventually bowled out for 342.
Bishop ended with five for 97 - the 48th time he has taken five wickets in an innings in his 141st match during which he recorded 600 wickets.
The match was always destined for a draw after controversial damp conditions which strangely led to protests from both teams forced a delayed start by two-and-a-half hours on the second day.
CGI Maple were bowled out for 234 in response to Carlton's first innings of 311 for nine declared after starting the final day on 132 for five.
Veteran Pedro Agard topscored with 42 after resuming on 30 when he had retired hurt on the second day.
Guyanese Chandrapaul Hemraj, a member of the HPC, took four for 50 off 17.3 overs with his left-arm spin to follow a knock of 67.
Carlton scored 129 for six in the second innings.
After being led on first innings by 31 runs, UWI had placed themselves in a strong position to force a win by reducing LIME to 24 for four by the close of Day 2.
Barbados cap Ashley Nurse counter-attacked with en even fifty which included five fours and a six but apart from another fighting knock of 35 by wicket-keeper Cyprian Payne, the other LIME batsmen were found wanting against a combination of spin and pace as they fell for 161.
Dewar took five for 69 and seamer Carlos Brathwaite, three for 51.
Requiring 193 for victory in 42 overs, UWI were put on course by the usually attacking Thomas after he and Anthony Alleyne (20) added 65 for the first wicket.
They achieved the target in 30.3 overs as Thomas marked his first appearance in the top local League championship by blasting his way to 106 which came in 103 minutes off 61 balls and included eight fours and six sixes.
His century came in 81 minutes off 56 balls and contained eight fours and five sixes after his half-century took 46 minutes off 32 deliveries with five fours and three sixes.
After Boucher slammed 101 to help Spartan to a 50-run first innings lead on the second day, Hosein again undermined the home team's batting.
Operating as he did in the first innings from the southern end, Hosein sent BDFSP tumbling from 41 for one overnight to 110 all out as he grabbed seven for 48 off 16 overs.
Left-hander Antonio Greenidge topscored with 34 while opener Dario Boyce-Malcolm, named in the Barbados Under-19 squad, again looked solid in scoring 31 before becoming one of Hosein's victory.
Boucher, whose 101 came in 173 minutes off 136 balls and included six sixes and the same number of fours, had the hour of finishing the match by lifting left-arm spinner Ravendra Persaud over long-on for six in an unbeaten 36 as he and Akeem Springer (27 not out) posted their fourth successive opening partnership of over 50.
Spartan took just 10.1 overs to achieve their target of 61 - the match being the first to finish 35 minutes after tea at 4.05 p.m.
FULL STANDINGS (After Series 4)
Tabulate under: M-matches, W-won, L-lost, T-tied, D-drawn, ND-no-decision, MPTS-match points minus batting and bowling, BATP-batting points, BOWP-bowling points, TP-total points.
TEAMS M W L T D ND MPTS BATP BOWP TP
Empire 3 2 0 0 1 0 27 9 12 48
Spartan 3 1 1 0 1 0 16 4 12 32
Pickwick 3 1 1 0 1 0 13 7 12 32
UWI 3 1 0 0 2 0 16 5 10 31
LIME 3 1 1 0 1 0 16 6 8 30
BDFSP 3 1 1 0 1 0 15 2 12 29
Maple 3 0 0 0 3 0 7 7 10 24
Carlton 3 0 1 0 2 0 6 7 9 22
St. Catherine 3 0 1 0 2 0 4 2 12 18
BarbadosYouth 3 0 1 0 2 0 2 0 12 14
NB: Series 1 matches, which started on May 4 and were rescheduled from May 11 and 12 because of the WICB first-class final between Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago at Kensington Oval, are to be completed on September 28 and 29. Therefore, no points are included for Series 1.
Series 5 - June 29, July 6, 7:
Pickwick v LIME at Foursquare Oval; Carlton v Spartan at Desmond Haynes Oval; BDFSP v St. Catherine at Paragon; UWI v Empire at 3Ws Oval; Maple v Barbados Youth at Trents.