AN unbeaten century (104 not out) from opening batsman Shai Hope propelled West Indies Best ‘A’ to a commanding 283-run lead against the regional ‘B’ team when day-two action concluded at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia on Tuesday.
Hope hit nine fours and six sixes in 132 balls and built a strong partnership of 63 runs from 74 balls with skipper Jermaine Blackwood (29 not out) to carry them to 197/3 in their second innings knock.
West Indies ‘B’ closed the opening day on 44/4 in response to the ‘A’ team’s 264 first innings score. The ‘B’ squad returned to the middle on day-two but was soon whittled away for 178, falling 86 runs short of the target.
Top scoring for the ‘B’ team in their first innings chase was Raymond Reifer (60 not out) while Roston Chase (35) and Kieron Powell (22) were the only other two batsmen to get into double figures.
Guyanese pacer Nial Smith (3/35) was the pick of the ‘A’ team bowlers while Shannon Gabriel (2/16) and Keon Harding (2/61) bagged two-a-piece.
West Indies Best ‘A’ returned to the pitch on day-two and will resume the penultimate day’s action with Hope and Blackwood at the crease. Blackwood’s unbeaten knock of 23 comprised two fours and one six in 34 balls.
Fellow opening batsman Darren Bravo scored 17 off 28 balls while Kavem Hodge was dismissed without scoring.
Jayden Searles was the pick of ‘B’ bowlers in the second innings as he bagged two for 28 from six overs. Chase (1/44) snagged the only other wicket.
Day-three action resumes at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground from 9:30am.
The West Indies intra-squad four-day practice match is being used as part of the squad’s preparations for the upcoming two-match Test series against South Africa which bowls off at the same venue from June 10.
WEST INDIES BEST A 264 – Jermaine Blackwood 85 & 23 not out, Shai Hope 79 and 104 not out; Kavem Hodge 37; Roston Chase 4/44, Chamar Holder 3/44, Jomel Warrican 2/35 vs WEST INDIES BEST B 178 – Raymond Reifer 60 not out, Roston Chase 35; Nial Smith Shannon Gabriel 2/16