Inconsistent bowling from Barbados Pride set the stage for Devon Thomas to hit his seventh first-class hundred and first of the season to propel Leeward Islands Hurricanes to a 142-run lead in the West Indies Championship on Friday.
Kraigg Brathwaite, Ramon Simmonds, and Keon Harding all ended with two wickets for Pride, but the home team’s attack was guilty of too many loose deliveries, and Thomas made 112 to lead Hurricanes to 294 for seven in their second innings at the close on the third day of the first round match at Kensington Oval.
The 32-year-old Antiguan shared 128 for the third wicket with Keacy Carty, an Under-19 World Cup winner for West Indies, whose 55 from 134 balls in three hours included only four boundaries.
Thomas reached his milestone from 113 balls when he drove Simmonds straight with aplomb for the 16th of17 fours from 140 balls in 3 1/4 hours at the crease before he was caught behind off Harding in the first hour after tea, edging a loose drive.
Pride met further resistance later in the day, when Hurricanes captain Jahmar Hamilton, not out on 40, anchored a couple of tidy stands with the lower-half of his side’s batting to extend their innings into the final day on Saturday.
Earlier, Pride let themselves down in the field, when they spilled three chances before lunch, two off Harding and one off fellow pacer Chemar Holder.
Fortunately, the reprieves they gave to Hurricanes openers Montcin Hodge and Kieran Powell did not cost them dearly, but Jomel Warrican put down Carty, on 17, at second slip off Holder in the final half-hour before the interval and they paid the price.
Simmonds made the breakthrough for Pride in his first over when Hodge was caught behind down the leg-side for five, glancing a rising delivery.
The rookie Pride left-arm spinner struck a second blow in his fifth over when left-hander Powell was caught at second slip for 27, gloving a miscued hook.
But Pride knew the fight-bak had started when Thomas came to the crease and with Carty carried Hurricanes to 102 for two at lunch.
After the interval, the Pride lead evaporated, and they toiled for most of the period between lunch and tea to break the partnership between Thomas and Carty.
Pride captain Kraigg Brathwaite produced the magic delivery in his second over when he trapped Carty lbw, sweeping across the line, and he added the scalp of left-hander Amir Jangoo caught at slip for one, edging a loose drive four balls later.
This gave the Pride a strong finish to a period of play they started meekly, and Hurricanes reached 202 for four at tea.
Simmonds opened the bowling for Pride after the break and Thomas hit a searing straight drive back past him to reach his sixth Championship hundred and first in four years.
Just when it looked like Pride were beginning to wilt, Harding got Thomas caught behind, edging a loose drive, and had Rahkeem Cornwall caught at deep mid-wicket for 10.
Jonathan Carter got Terrence Warde lbw for 12, but Hamilton and Jeremiah Louis, not out on 14, batted through the final half-hour to help Hurricanes survive for another day.
Hurricanes 172 for nine declared (Devon Thomas 58, Kieran Powell 43, Jahmar Hamilton 29, Kacey Carty 20; Keon Harding 4-42, Jonathan Carter 2-9) and 294 for seven (Devon Thomas 112, Kacey Carty 55, Jahmar Hamilton 40 not out, Kieran Powell 27, Jeremiah Louis 14 not out, Terrence Warde 12, Rahkeem Cornwall 10; Kraigg Brathwaite 2-7, Ramon Simmonds 2-39, Keon Harding 2-50).
Pride 324 (Shamar Springer 91, Shane Dowrich 86, Kraigg Brathwaite 29, Jonathan Carter 25, Raymon Reifer 23, Chemar Holder 22, Shayne Moseley 13; Rahkeem Cornwall 4-99, Colin Archibald 3-47, Terrence Warde 2-42).