Kern De Freitas
Day 2 Trinidad and Tobago 304 and 6 for 1 lead Barbados 229 (Hinds 200) by 81 268 runs
Ryan Hinds, the Barbados captain, registered his first century of the 2007 regional first-class season and sixth overall for his country to keep his team in contention for the Carib Beer Challenge title against Trinidad and Tobago at Guaracara Park. Hinds emulated his opposite number, first-day centurion Daren Ganga (120 not out), with an even 100, which, along with the Barbadian resistance, was ended by a peach of a delivery from Rayad Emrit, to leave T&T with a 75-run first innings lead.
The day ended with the home team on 6 for 1, a heartening equation for the Bajans, with nightwatchman Amit Jaggernauth at the other end. When Hinds strode to the wicket with the score at four for 75, at the departure of Dwayne Smith, it looked as though the visitors would struggle to even reach the 200 mark. But Hinds plodded away for most of the day to give his bowlers something to bowl for today.
Shamarh Brooks, resuming on 23 with his team overnight on 36 for 2, added only six runs to his score before he edged a ball from Richard Kelly to Denesh Ramdin and Barbados were 43 for 4. Smith, the allrounder, came in and played a hardly-chanceless cameo, being dropped by Ganga off Kelly. With Smith on 20 (two fours), Kelly knocked back his stumps, but the Barbados batsman survived thanks to a questionable no-ball call. He would not be third time lucky, edging Kelly into the arms of Ramdin the very next delivery.
Emrit accounted for Floyd Reifer and Patrick Browne, caught Dwayne Bravo at second and first slip, respectively, and with six wickets down, T&T seemed to be looking at a lead in the vicinity of 150 runs. But Hinds finally found a reliable cohort in the injured Alcindo Holder and set about repairing the innings. Holder needed a runner, but that did not impair his resolve as he played the anchor role in a 67-run partnership with Hinds, scoring just a single boundary in his innings of 18.
Hinds' defense seemed almost impeccable and frustrated the T&T bowlers. At the other end, Holder, though restricted in the strokes he could play, was just as solid. Hinds was not afraid to attack the loose ball either, cutting with conviction, and played a few exquisite drives off Ravi Rampaul.
Ganga resorted to spin from both ends, with Jaggernauth coming at the Refinery end and Dave Mohammed working from the Media Tower side. The runs dried up and even though Hinds eked out the odd single, Ganga ensured Holder had plenty company in fielders at forward short leg, silly point and leg slip.
The ploy eventually bore fruit, with Holder looking to turn a looping Jaggernauth delivery into the offside and lobbing onto his pads and into the hands of a diving Lendl Simmons at forward short leg. Holder had faced 95 balls and spent more than two hours at the crease, the score then 163. Tino Best, inconsistent with the ball on the first day, didn't do much with the bat either, offering no shot to a straighter Jaggernauth delivery and getting pinned in front of the stumps for two.
Pedro Collins got to seven in a ninth-wicket partnership of 21 with Hinds, before he was bowled by Rampaul. He was exposed to the T&T seamer by his captain for five deliveries in the first over of a new spell and lasted only three. Corey Collymore, though, batted out of character and was more impressive than his fellow tail-ender, coming in with Hinds on 69. He saw off two early attempted yorkers by Rampaul and was stouter in defense than several of his predecessors in the Barbados line-up. He accompanied Hinds in a 43-run last wicket stand, allowed his captain to reach his well-deserved ton, and even drove Rampaul exquisitely to the boundary for two fours in his ten not out.
Hinds brought up his landmark with the first ball of Rampaul's next over and celebrated jubilantly until his bat fell from his hand. Ganga, seeing his lead slipping away, replaced Jaggernauth with Emrit and the West Indies newcomer responded positively, clipping Hinds' off-stump with an outswinger to end the Bajans' first innings.
A fired up Collins added another twist to this tale, removing Simmons lbw for two, knocking him over in the process, before the umpires offered the light to Adrian Barath and Jaggernauth. On a track good for batting and with T&T having an overall lead of 81, the match can still go either way.