Jamaica 165 for 3 (Parchment 51) trail Leewards Islands 396 by 231 runs

Floyd Reifer sweeps during his fifty © The Nation
Captain Sylvester Joseph and Tonito Willett missed out on centuries as Leeward Islands and Jamaica remained locked in a tense battle, after honours were evenly shared on the second day of their first-round Carib Beer Series match at St Mary's Park in St Kitts.

Joseph failed to add to his overnight 97 while Willett was dismissed for 89 as Leewards were bowled out for 396, after resuming at 291 for 4. At the close, Jamaica had reached 165 for 3, with Brenton Parchment stroking 51.

Joseph, who batted soundly on Thursday to steady the innings, survived just 12 balls on Friday before being caught at square leg by Tamar Lambert, attempting to pull a short ball from fast bowler Jerome Taylor with the score on 297. Willett unbeaten on 43 overnight, again batted enterprisingly as he held the innings together after Joseph's dismissal.

He failed to find a steady partner, however, as wickets tumbled around him. Taylor, who finished with 3 for 69, produced a sharp, lifting delivery to Omari Banks which the batsman fended to Parchment at short square leg, to leave Leewards 314 for 6.

Jermaine Lawson, Jamaica's best bowler with 4 for 72, took care of Jason Williams for ten with a slower delivery, and Willett's knock finally ended when he edged a faster ball from offspinner Samuels to wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh. He batted just under four hours, faced 173 balls, striking 11 fours.

Jamaica quickly dispatched the two remaining Leewards wickets and hastily started their pursuit of first-innings points, with Chris Gayle and Parchment adding 70 for the first wicket. Gayle was bowled by the first delivery after tea when he played over a pitched up delivery from Adam Sanford.

Samuels was brilliantly taken one-handed by Banks at second slip off Carl Simon for 34 with the score on 127, and with no addition to the score Parchment was taken at silly mid-off off Banks. Captain Wavell Hinds was unbeaten on 30 at the close.

Barbados 220 for 8 (Reifer 54) trail Trinidad and Tobago 273 by 53 runs

Barbados are behind the eight-ball for the moment. A keen-battle for first innings honours was slightly in favour of Trinidad and Tobago at the half-way stage of their opening round Carib Beer Series match yesterday. When stumps were drawn on the second day at the North Stars Club ground, Barbados were trailing Trinidad and Tobago by 53 runs with only two wickets intact.

Had it not been for the resolute Floyd Reifer, the situation might have been worse. It was pleasing to see the diligence and application from Reifer, especially after a lean season last year. There wasn't a flurry of exciting strokes, but you saw the value of watchful occupation of the crease. If some of his teammates could take a leaf out of his book, it would serve them well for the remainder of the season.

Reifer's unbeaten 54 off 212 balls stretched almost four-and-a-half hours and contained seven boundaries. He left countless balls outside the off stump, defended a whole lot that were on the wicket, nudged the ball around and spanked some of the bad balls to the fence. A lot rests on his shoulders if Barbados are to get close to Trinidad and Tobago's total.

Dale Richards, polished and purposeful, and Dwayne Smith, exciting and selective, wasted the benefit of promising starts by giving away their wickets on the approach of an interval. Richards was especially strong when driving through the off-side but failed to capitalise on a sharp chance he offered low to wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin. Seven minutes short of the first refreshment break of the day and two shy of a half-century, Richards should have done better with a long-hop from offspinner Amit Jaggernauth which he pulled to the man running in from deep midwicket.

Smith sent a buzz around the ground with a wonderful straight drive off Mervyn Dillon and then batted with increasing responsibility for the better part of an hour-and-a-half. The time he has spent working with the legendary Seymour Nurse, it seemed, was paying off.

Ten minutes before tea, Smith picked up the medium-pace of Bravo and deposited him down the throat of deep midwicket after making 38. It was a waste of a wicket. Kevin Stoute is the darling among local fans at the moment and he immediately created a favourable impression upon his arrival. He played a few attractive strokes and looked at ease on the way to his 24 in front of another good crowd.

Stoute surely shouldn't be batting as low as No. 8, but he didn't let it bother him. There were occasions when he appeared not to be sure which way the ball was turning when he was facing up Dave Mohammed's chinamen. He survived that uncertain period before falling to an edged catch at gully in the second over with the new ball.

If the final line-up Barbados put out on Thursday raised a few eyebrows, there was even more debate about the batting order yesterday. Patrick Browne is a wicketkeepe- batsman and capable of handling himself in front of the stumps, but in a team packed with a plethora of specialist batsmen, No. 3 is not the place for Browne.

He batted soundly for an hour- and-a-half before falling to an outstanding one-handed catch at forward short-leg by Jason Mohammed. Browne's elevation pushed promising rookies Kirk Edwards and Stoute down to No. 7 and 8 and more significantly, denied Barbados of an experienced head at a critical position.

Either the captain Ryan Hinds or Reifer or possibly Smith should be given the responsibility of No 3. In a tight battle for first innings, you can hardly afford two run outs. Both Hinds and Tino Best fell by that route, but neither could be faulted.

The two dismissals involved Reifer, but he could not be targeted either. On both occasions, Reifer slipped in the process of running, forcing his partners to try to regain their ground at the opposite end.

Windward Islands 185 for 6 v Guyana
Early morning rain and another sharp shower during the tea break condemned the second day of the first round Carib Beer Series match between the Windward Islands and Guyana to just 40 minutes action.

In the 10.3 overs allowed at the Tanteen cricket ground, the Windward Islands moved to 185 for 6, continuing from their overnight 163 for 5. A soggy outfield delayed the start of play until 2:30 pm and Windwards quickly lost danger man Junior Murray in the third over of the day for 44.

Murray, unbeaten on 38 overnight, edged offspinner Narsingh Deonarine to wicketkeeper Derwin Christian to miss out on his 31st regional first class half-century, with the score on 170 for 6. Captain Rawl Lewis, 10 not out, and Liam Sebastian, unbeaten on 3, were together when rain ended play prematurely.