Brilliant Brathwaite sets up intriguing finish
Carlos Brathwaite's all-round brilliance set up the game between Trinidad & Tobago and Combines Campuses and Colleges at the Sir Frank Worrell Memorial Ground for a close finish, as the hosts ended the penultimate day at 134 for 5, still 84 short of the target.
T&T had gone into the day with a slight advantage, as CCC's last recognised pair - Floyd Reifer and Brathwaite - resumed their second innings at what was effectively 102 for 5. The pair steadily pushed T&T back with a crucial 109-run stand that put the game back in the balance. Both batsmen made half-centuries before succumbing to Rayad Emrit, who finished with four wickets. Shannon Gabriel shared the spoils with Emrit, picking up four wickets as well, as CCC's tail perished without a fight. Despite losing their last four wickets for 17 runs, CCC had given themselved a good chance, as T&T chased 218 for victory.
Lendl Simmons and Justin Guillen kicked off the chase in confident style, adding 74 for the opening wicket, before Brathwaite imposed himself on the proceedings once again. He ran through the top order, picking up five wickets before T&T could reach three figures, to leave them in serious trouble. Daren Ganga and Imran Khan resisted his attack with an unbeaten 41-run stand, but CCC will come back fresh on the final day.
England Lions furthered their strong batting effort in response to Barbados' 471, as they surged to 349 for 4 at the Kensington Oval. Resuming at 101 for 1, they ran into early trouble as Pedro Collins and Fidel Edwards prised out two quick wickets. Captain James Hildreth and James Taylor, however, calmed the nerves with an assured partnership of 156. Hildreth eventually exited for 81, becoming Collins' third wicket, but Taylor proceeded with assurance to 97. Giving him company at stumps was Craig Kieswetter, who was unbeaten on 47. With the chances of a result ruled out, both batsmen could be chasing milestones on the final day.
After a rained-out second day, the Jamaica v Windward Islands match at St George's sparked into life on the penultimate day, though the chances of a result remained remote. Jamaica, resuming at 177 for 6, were bundled out for 214, but their bowlers roared back in style to skittle Windwards for 115. Jerome Taylor was their wrecker-in-chief, blasting out four wickets, while David Bernard and Odean Brown picked up three each. Jamaica lost opener Danza Hyatt early in their second innings, but went to stumps at the effective score of 126 for 1.
For the third day on the trot, no play was possible in Georgetown, as Guyana and Leeward Islands cooled their heels indoors.