THE TT Red Force batsmen, once again, faltered when it mattered most as they were trounced by 245 runs by the visiting Leeward Islands Hurricanes on the final day of their round three clash, in the West Indies Four Day Championship, at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba.
West Indies fast bowler Alzarri Joseph and burly off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall took four wickets each as the Red Force, resuming on 26 without loss in pursuit of 342, were skittled out for 96 in the morning session.
In-form left-hander Jeremy Solozano top-scored with 42, but only two other batsmen reached double figures for the hosts – Kyle Hope with 17 and number 11 Shannon Gabriel with 14.
This defeat is the sixth straight in this format for the Red Force. They began their 2018-2019 campaign with a 76-run loss to the Windward Islands Volcanoes at Tarouba.
Yesterday’s display was even worse for the sprinkling of fans on hand at the venue, as the Red Force lost seven wickets for six runs (sliding from 72/2 to 78/9) in six overs.
Hurricanes opener Montcin Hodge, who notched scores of 158 and 77 not out in both innings, was named Man of the Match.
Solozano apart, none of the Red Force batsmen seemed capable of applying themselves in the middle.
In fact, five players (captain Denesh Ramdin, Yannic Cariah, Joshua Da Silva, vice-captain Imran Khan and Daniel St Clair) made ducks, and Bryan Charles was unbeaten on zero.
Opener Hope, who has done little since his brief Test career in 2017, slashed at a wide ball from pacer Sheno Berridge to Hodge at point.
Berridge got his second wicket shortly after, as Amir Jangoo (eight) pulled one to Devon Thomas at midwicket.
Another out-of-form batsman Jason Mohammed (four) danced down the wicket to Cornwall but picked out Joseph, running to his left at mid-on.
That dismissal sparked a procession of batsmen returning to the pavilion with little to show for their efforts.
Ramdin attempted to turn one off his pads and was trapped in front by Cornwall, before Joseph, in the same over, had Solozano (100 balls, eight balls) bowled and Da Silva missing an ugly swipe and trapped leg-before.
A fired-up Joseph removed Khan’s off-stump with a yorker and then had St Clair gloving a bouncer to wicketkeeper Jahmar Hamilton.
After Cariah prodded one from Cornwall to slip, the umpires Patrick Gustard and Danesh Ramdhanie decided to take the extra half hour before lunch to see if the Hurricanes would wrap up the innings.
Gabriel offered brief resistance before he was bowled by Cornwall, backing away to cut a straight ball.
The Red Force will be on the road for their next match on Thursday against the Jamaica Scorpions, at Sabina Park in Kingston.
Red Force vs Leewards
Leewards 1st inns: 425
Red Force 1st inns: 252
Leewards 2nd inns: 168-6 dec
Red Force 2nd inns:
K Hope c Hodge b Berridge*17
J Solozano b Joseph*42
A Jangoo c Thomas b Berridge*8
J Mohammed c Joseph b Cornwall*4
D Ramdin LBW b Cornwall*0
Y Cariah c Thomas b Cornwall*0
J Da Silva LBW b Joseph*0
I Khan b Joseph*0
D St Clair c Hamilton b Joseph*0
B Charles not out*0
S Gabriel b Cornwall*14
EXTRAS: (B8, LB2, NB1)*11
TOTAL: (all out)*96
Fall of wickets: 42; 58; 72; 76; 78; 78; 78; 78; 78; 96.
BOWLING: Louis 8-2-10-0 (NB1); Cornwall 9.3-4-29-4; Joseph 12-5-22-4; Warde 2-0-6-0; Berridge 8-3-19-2.
Result: Hurricanes won by 245 runs.
Man of the Match: Montcin Hodge (Hurricanes).