Rain prevented Trinidad and Tobago Red Force from having to bat determinedly to avoid defeat at the hands of arch-rivals Barbados Pride in yesterday’s fourth and last day of their absorbing first-round Professional Cricket League match at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain.
The League, governed by the West Indies Cricket Board and featuring six franchises, Barbados Pride, Jamaica, Guyana Jaguars, the Windward Islands Volcanoes, the Leeward Islands and Trinidad and Tobago Red Force is in its first season.
The franchises play a home-and-away series of ten matches each to determine the champion. The competition is scheduled to end with tenth-round matches in March next year.
With five second-innings wickets intact yesterday, and needing a further 51 runs to clear the first innings deficit, the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force benefitted from no play for the latter part of the pre-lunch session and the entire afternoon as showers, varying to light to heavy, and intermittently, kept the teams indoors.
Asked to follow-on after replying to the Pride’s 369 with a 96 all out first-innings score, Trinidad and Tobago began the final day at 163 for 3 from 53.3 overs and lost two more wickets in 15 overs to be 213 for 5 when it all ended.
Barbados sensed they were in for a victory charge in getting overnight batsman Jason Mohammed out without any addition to the score and when the vastly improved batsman Denesh Ramdin, the outstanding wicketkeeper and West Indies Test team captain was next man out after 28 more runs were added, the task of saving TT from an outright loss rested first with not out pair Yanic Cariah (12 runs from 37 balls) and Akeal Hosein (10 from 23).
Then there were the tailenders of useful batters in Imran Khan, captain Rayad Emrit, and bowlers Marlon Richards and Shannon Gabriel to complete the batting rearguard.
Trinidad and Tobago got three points for the draw and an addition two bonus for wickets taken in Barbados’ first innings at the 110-overs mark.
Their drawn match was in contrast to winning outcomes for both Guyana Jaguars and Jamaica on Sunday’s third day of their respective matches against the Leewards and Windwards respectively.
Trinidad and Tobago head for St Kitts for their second-round match against the Leewards beginning this Friday when Barbados and Jamaica will feature in Barbados and Guyana and the Windwards in Guyana.