Inside the Elite Division
with Keith Holder
Date Published: 2016-10-01
Phillips lashes first century in five seasons as batsmen again flop in BCA Elite division
Bridgetown, Barbados, October 1 - (www.bcacricket.org) - For the second time in successive matches, the Police bowling attack and their home ground at Weymouth provided great relief and a much needed century for an experienced batsman, who was going through a lean patch in the 2016 BCA Elite division Championship.
And there were a couple similarities.
Omar Phillips, the Brathwaite Construction/Crane Resort captain and opener, struck his first hundred at this level in five seasons and eighth all told on the first day of Series 6 when batting generally was again very disappointing.
Left-hander Phillips, who failed to reach double-figures in eight of his previous ten innings which brought 154 runs at an average of 19.25, scored 100 not out in a first innings total of 210 for eight declared off 64.5 overs after St. Catherine were sent in.
Police closed on 19 for two off 11 overs.
Phillips, a Barbados Pride player, who celebrates his 30th birthday on October 12, and who also represented West Indies in two Tests against Bangladesh seven years ago, batted for 247 minutes, faced 197 balls and hit seven fours.
He had shown signs of a return to form with a brisk, unbeaten 62 in the second innings of Series 5 against beleaguered Guardian General Barbados Youth at Bayfield.
Phillips' previous century at this level was a career-best 158 for Sagicor Life UWI against ESA Field Pickwick in the first innings at Foursquare Oval in the penultimate round of a then 12-team Division 1 Championship in 2011 (rebranded Elite division in 2012).
A resident of the northern parish of St. Peter, today's impressive knock was Phillips' first league century for St. Catherine after he joined the St. Philip club in 2013. That season, he played in only the Sagicor General Super Cup (50-over) Championship, scoring a hundred in seven matches which produced 280 runs (ave: 40.00).
His other seven hundreds in the three-day Competition have been for UWI, which he represented for seven seasons following three years with Barbados Youth (formerly Combined Schools).
Phillips probably took comfort today from the fact that Jamal Smith, the ICBL Empire skipper with first-class experience, also scored a century (106) against Police at the same ground a week ago after he had gone into the match with only 85 runs in six innings (ave: 14.16). And, co-incidentally, it was Smith's first hundred in five seasons as well at this level, and his fifth all told.
Apart from St. Catherine, all of the other teams batting first today were bowled out for under 200.
Front-runners Empire made the most significant progress.
They dismissed BDFSP for a paltry 81 in 48.5 overs at Paragon with off-spinner Shane Jones taking five for 25 - his second straight five-wicket haul - and closed on 66 for three off 24 overs, led by an unbeaten 33 from Smith.
Second-placed CounterPoint Wanderers fell for 138 in 46.4 overs against Massy United Insurance Wildey at Dayrells Road. Wildey made a spirited reply of 65 for one off 10.5 overs.
Another title-chasing team, Massy Stores Spartan, crumbled for 159 in 54.3 overs against desperate defending champions UWI, who will resume on 76 for two off 27 overs at 3Ws Oval.
And at Kensington Oval, relegation-worried Home Improvement/Sierka Rentals Maple reached 81 for three off 26 overs after dismissing bottom-of-the-table Barbados Youth for 155 in 53.3 overs.
Spin bowling was the undoing of BDFSP, who fell for their lowest total of the season - 81 - after they were sent in.
Kemar Brathwaite, who amassed the most runs (754) last season but has been woefully out of form this year, managed the topscore of 28. It was also his highest score for the season.
Brathwaite, who went to the crease at No. 3, batted for 139 minutes, faced 92 balls and hit two fours and one six before he was seventh out. He now has 111 runs in ten innings (ave:11.10).
Shane Jones was the main wrecker with five for 25 off 16.5 overs, fellow off-spinner Nekoli Parris picked up two for 12 and leg-spinner Shadd Simmons, two for 16.
Jones now has 26 wickets for the season including 15 in the last three innings.
Empire will resume on 66 for three with Smith unbeaten on 33, partnered by Kevin Stoute, who is on seven and no doubt looking to become the first batsman to reach 500 runs for season after going into the match with the highest aggregate of 420 (ave: 84.00).
Wanderers, who lost the toss, were let down after an opening partnership of 53 between Shayne Moseley and Jafari Toppin.
The last eight wickets fell for 76 runs and they were dismissed for 138.
Toppin topscored with 29, Jonathan Drakes made 26 at No. 4 and Moseley 24.
Left-arm spinner Deswin Currency took three for 16, Jerome Jones, three for 61, fellow left-arm pacer Obed McCoy, two for 24 and fast bowler Akeem Jordan, two for 28.
Zachary McCaskie then hit a brisk 41 not out off 31 balls with seven fours and one six as Wildey reached 65 for one.
After the luck of the toss, Spartan also wasted a fairly good start before falling for 159.
Opener Rashidi Boucher topscored with 44 and skipper Rohan Nurse made 32.
The last eight wickets crashed for 79 runs.
Off-spinner Larry Joseph took four for 28 off 9.3 overs and left-arm spinner Linton Buchanan, three for 31.
UWI, one from the bottom of the table and still without any batting points, closed on 76 for two.
Jermaine Benjamin scored 36 while left-hander Anthony Alleyne was unbeaten on 27.
Half-centuries from Kadeem Alleyne and Shkym Haynes helped Barbados Youth to 155 all out after they were sent in.
Opener Alleyne made 61 in 170 minutes off 127 balls with five boundaries, while Haynes made 53 in 110 minutes off 89 balls including six fours.
It was Alleyne's first ever half-century in the Championship and the second fifty of the season for Haynes. The pair added 86 for the sixth wicket.
Medium-pacer Kirk Brome took four for 27 off 10.3 overs, left-arm spinner Kemar Stanford, two for 17 and off-spinner Shane Ramsay, two for 22.
Maple will continue from 81 for three with opener Shane Parris on 26.
Ramsay scored 26 and Renaldo Parris, 20.
Skipper and left-arm spinner Joshua Bishop has two for 3
Skipper Omar Phillips emerged from his rough patch to score a disciplined, even, unbeaten century in St. Catherine's 210 for eight declared after they lost the toss.
Phillips was at the crease for just over four hours, received 197 balls and counted seven boundaries.
St. Catherine would have been bit disappointed after passing 100 with only one wicket down.
Phillips and Chad Puckerin (34) put 81 for the second wicket.
Karran Bhola took two for 29, fellow left-arm spinner Ravendra Persaud, two for 57 and off-spinner Stefan Gooding, two for 70.
Police were 19 for two at stumps.