BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Denesh Ramdin announced his return to the Regional 4-Day Championship with a languid, 13th first-class career hundred that was the cornerstone of Trinidad & Tobago Red Force’s batting against Barbados Pride on Friday here.
The former West Indies captain hardly placed a foot wrong, gathering 101 that was the rock upon which the Red Force built a first innings total of 300 on the second day of their rain-affected first round match at Kensington Oval.
Ewart Nicholson made an enterprising 74 and left-handed opener Jeremy Solozano scored a boundary-studded 54 to beef up the Red Force batting.
Left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican was the pick of the Pride bowlers, snaring 4-67 from 27.1 overs, fast-medium bowler Justin Greaves had identical figures off 18 overs and Pride captain Kevin Stoute took 2-27 off 10 overs.
In reply, Pride reached 42 for one at the close with Anthony Alleyne, not out on 22, and fellow left-hander Mario Rampersaud, not out on one.
Left-arm medium-fast bowler Daniel St. Clair gave Red Force an early scalp, when he bowled debutant Pride left-handed opener Shayne Moseley for three.
Earlier, Ramdin, playing a first-class match for the first time in close two years and three years for Red Force, chopped a delivery from left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican to square third man for the last of his 14 fours to reach his landmark from 159 balls before he was dismissed next ball.
He also passed the milestone of 6,000 first-class career runs, when he reached 50 with a slog/sweep to deep mid-wicket off the same bowler.
Ramdin shared 126 for the fourth wicket with Nicholson, following a rapid-fire opening stand of 62 between Solozano and fellow left-hander Amir Jangoo, but there was little else about which the Red Force could write back to Port-of-Spain.
Starting the day on nought without loss after just four balls were possible on the previous day, the Red Force made hay while the sun shone during the first period, reaching 174 for three from just 37 overs.
Jangoo and Solozano beat ball early before Stoute struck with successive deliveries to leave the visitors on 62 for two.
Stoute had Jangoo caught at second slip for 26 playing forward and trapped Isaiah Rajah lbw for a first-ball duck.
Solozano stuck around long enough to get 50 and take the Red Force to 100 before Greaves had him caught behind flirting outside off-stump.
Either side of the first interval, Nicholson and Ramdin gradually asserted themselves, and built the foundation for the Red Force innings, benefitting from loose bowling from the Pride attack.
Just when it looked like they would break the spirit of the Pride, Warrican made the breakthrough, when Nicholson was caught at deep backward square leg. He struck eight fours and three sixes from 142 balls.
Three wickets to Greaves in the space of 14 balls slowed the Red Force train, leaving them on 244 for seven, but Ramdin and Marlon Richards carried them to 262 without further loss at the second interval.
After the break, the two shared 45 for the eighth wicket, as Ramdin sauntered to his hundred before he was caught at long-on off Warrican. He hit 14 boundaries from 160 balls.
Warrican added the scalp of Bryan Charles caught at short mid-wicket for two, but St. Clair came to the crease and with Richards, the Red Force captain last year when they beat the Pride in the corresponding fixture also under the lights, stayed to usher the visitors to 300.
Warrican wrapped up the innings, when he trapped Richards lbw for 23 playing back and across.
RED FORCE 1st Innings
(overnight nought without loss)
+A Jangoo c Carter b Stoute 26
J Solozano c wkpr Rampersaud b Greaves 54
I Rajah lbw b Stoute 0
E Nicholson c Williams b Warrican 74
*D Ramdin c Nurse b Warrican 101
T Webster c wkpr Rampersaud b Greaves 2
R Primus c wkpr Rampersaud b Greaves 4
I KLhan c Nurse b Greaves 1
M Richards lbw b Warrican 23
B Charles c Stoute b Warrican 2
D St Clair not out 0
Extras (b7, lb3, w3) 13
TOTAL (all out, 81.1 overs) 300
Fall of wickets: 1-62, 2-62, 3-100, 4-225, 5-228, 6-241, 7-243, 8-289, 9-297
Bowling: Greaves 18-2-67-4 (nb1); Clarke 7-0-62-0 (nb1); Stoute 10-4-27-2 (nb1); Nurse 9-1-31-0; Warrican 27.1-7-67-4; Carter 9-3-23-0; Williams 1-0-13-0
PRIDE 1st Innings
A Alleyne not out 29
S Moseley b St Clair 3
+M Rampersaud not out 1
Extras (b4, lb1, nb4) 9
TOTAL (1 wkt, 14 overs) 42
A Jones, J Carter, K Williams, *K Stoute, J Greaves, A Nurse, J Warrican, S Clarke to bat
Fall of wickets: 1-32
Bowling: Richards 4-1-18-0; St Clair 6-4-4-1 (nb1); Primus 3-1-14-0 (nb3); Charles 1-0-1-0
Position: Pride trail by 258 with nine first innings wickets standing
Umpires: L Reifer Jr, J Williams (Jamaica)
Match referee: S Proverbs
Reserve umpire: K Sisnett