Shai Hope’s ninth first-class century propped up Barbados Pride but the pre-match table leaders were still facing an uncertain final day after being forced to follow on by Guyana Harpy Eagles on a critical penultimate day of the third round in the West Indies Championship on Friday.
The elegant right-hander stroked a typically silky 119, a knock that helped Pride recover from 75 for four to 266 all out in their first innings at Queen’s Park Oval. Forced to follow on by 224 runs, Pride reached the close on 44 without loss with left-hander Shayne Moseley unbeaten on 25, still behind by 180 runs.
Hope sparkled with 13 fours and two sixes as he faced 200 balls, while left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul was Guyana’s best bowler with 4-81. Hope then anchored two critical half-century stands to push Pride past the 200-run mark, posting 89 for the fifth wicket with Raymon Reifer (29) and 64 for the seventh with Shane Dowrich who struck five fours and two sixes.
On 62 at lunch, Hope reached triple figures just before tea with a punch to cover for a single, to be 102 not out at tea. Once Dowrich edged a drive at Permaul to slip just after tea, however, Pride lost their last four wickets for 24 runs, with Hope last out edging a defensive prod to the impressive Permaul to slip.
At Diego Martin Complex: hosts Red Force were facing a heavy defeat after suffering a second batting meltdown against Leeward Islands Hurricanes. Set an improbable 459 for victory, Red Force slumped to 143-6 at the close, still requiring a further 316 runs on the final day.
Left-hander Yannic Cariah was unbeaten on 36 and Jason Mohammed made 36 but the top order once again failed as seamer Jeremiah Louis hurt the innings with 3-26. Kieran Powell, who struck a first-innings century, missed out on another when he perished for 83 in the second innings while Devon Thomas top-scored with 84 as Hurricanes declared on 241-7.
Hurricanes, meanwhile, started the day in control and ended it the same way. Resuming on their overnight 23 without loss, they were carried again by Powell who put on 92 for the first wicket with Montcin Hodge (39) and 90 for the third with Thomas. The left-handed Powell hit half-dozen fours and three sixes in a hasty 96-ball knock while Thomas was even more sensational, belting five fours and half-dozen sixes in a 53-ball cameo.
Faced with the challenge of survival once the declaration came, Red Force slumped to 10-2 before Mohammed counter-attacked in a 40-run, third-wicket stand with Darren Bravo (2). However, both fell with three runs added to leave Red Force on 53-4 and it was left to Cariah to repair the damage in a 47-run, fifth-wicket partnership with captain Joshua Da Silva (27) and in a 28-run, sixth-wicket stand with Akeal Hosein (10).