Steady, if not menacing bowling from Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, led by veteran leg-spinner Imran Khan, put the skids on the Windward Islands Volcanoes’ batting and tightened the grip on their Regional 4-Day Championship match yesterday.
Volcanoes reached three without loss in their second innings before bad light stopped play, after they were asked to follow on 236 runs behind on first innings, on the rain-marred second day of their round match at Queen’s Park Oval.
This followed Khan grabbing 3-46 from 15 overs and three other bowlers collecting two apiece, as the Volcanoes were bowled out for 166 around the time for the scheduled close, replying to Red Force’s first innings total of 402.
Kavem Hodge hit the top score of 46 for the Volcanoes, Tarryck Gabriel made 38 and their captain Tyrone Theophile got 30, but there was little stability for the rest of the batting and the visitors lost their last six wickets for 12 runs in the space of 64 deliveries.
Sherman Lewis had led the Volcanoes fight back in the morning period following the Red Force’s opening day, batting rampage.
The Grenadian fast bowler ended with a career-best 5-64 from 20 overs, former West Indies Under-19 fast bowler Ray Jordan bagged 3-68 and Barbados-born all-rounder Kyle Mayers snatched 2-79 from 27 overs.
Red Force captain Denesh Ramdin added just 12 before he was dismissed for 116 and former Red Force captain Jason Mohammed collected 13 before he fell for 113, but no other batsman on the day reached 20.
Their partnership of 213 however, fell short of the Red Force all-time record for the fourth wicket and their separation triggered a slide that saw the home team dismissed about five minutes past the scheduled lunch interval, as they lost their last six wickets for 40 in 68 balls.
Starting the day on 334 for three, Red Force cruised past 350 without further loss, but Lewis trapped Ramdin, Mohammed and Tion Webster all LBW in three successive overs to leave the hosts 373 for six.
Ramdin, the former West Indies captain and wicketkeeper/batsman, struck nine fours from 170 balls in his three-and-a-quarter-hour stay at the crease, and Mohammed cracked nine fours and one six from 187 balls in just over four hours in the middle.
After this, there was token resistance from the tail, and rain offered Red Force a 35-minute respite before they returned and swiftly went into decline.
After lunch, Volcanoes were set back early, when prolific, veteran left-hander Devon Smith was caught at slip off Roshon Primus for three.
The wickets of former West Indies batsman Kirk Edwards for 15 and Theophile in the space of four overs – both to Webster – left Volcanoes 52 for three.
There was still some fire in the Volcanoes, when Hodge came to the crease and put on 70 for the fourth wicket with Gabriel to take them past 100 and forged a useful stand of 32 with former captain and fellow Dominican Liam Sebastien for the fifth wicket to carry the visitors past 150.
When Hodge became the first wicket for left-arm fast-medium bowler Daniel St Clair, none of the rest of the batsmen showed much fight and they surrendered meekly with Sebastien, Mayers and Shane Shillingford all dismissed LBW.