High in praise for rookie pace pair Holder & Harding
By Sean Devers
Barbados Captain Kraigg Braithwaite led from the front with 48 and an unbeaten 84 as his team dethroned five-times defending Champions Guyana Jaguars to capture the 2020 CWI Regional four-day title on Saturday with two rounds remaining after beating the Jaguars in a Day/Night eighth round encounter.
The win was the first time since the 2015 season that the Bajans had beaten Guyana at Providence.
Barbados now has 22 Regional titles since Sir Garfield Sobers led them to their first one in the inaugural Shell Shield in 1966 and are the most successful team in Regional First-Class.
Barbados won four successive titles from 1977 to 1980 and only Guyana and Jamaica (five) have won more consecutive titles.
The 27-year-old Braithwaite scored the only fifty in a low scoring game and his second innings 84 was the first time a batsman had ‘carried his bat’ at Providence in a Regional First-Class game.
In 2016 in Sharjah, Brathwaite became the first opener in a Test match to ‘carry his bat’ twice when West Indies beat Pakistan.
This was the second time Barbados has beaten Guyana in a Day/Night game with the Pink ball at Providence after winning in the 2014 season when they last won the title.
This is Braithwaite’s first First-Class title as Captain and he said he was very pleased to join the list of winning Barbados Captains.
“It’s always a good feeling to see the team’s hard work pay off and it’s more satisfying to win with two games remaining and beating the five times defending Champions at their home ground,” said Braithwaite, whose 84 on Friday night was his 51stFirst-Class fifty to go with 22 centuries.
Braithwaite, who played the first of 155 First-Class games as a 16-year-old, feels the team was successful this season because they worked hard and executed their plans well.
“We had two young fast bowlers who both had over 25 wickets and the return of Kemar (Roach) were key factors in us being successful this season,” added Braithwaite.
Twenty-two-year-old Chemar Holder has 36 wickets from eight matches, 23-year-old Keon Harding, who missed the last game, had 29 and the experienced Roach had 30 from just five games. Barbados has 24.8 fast bowling points from eight matches, the most by any team.
Despite the absence of Shai Hope and Roston Chase, Barbados had eight West Indies players in their side including, spinners Ashley Nurse and Jomal Warrican who did not bowl a ball in the match.
Braithwaite, who played in Day/Night with the pink ball in 2014, said the pink swings more than the Red or White balls.
“The pitch was a bit difficult to score freely on, especially at night when the ball did a bit more. It did not spin much and while it had some bounce for the pacers, it was easier to score when the ball was short. But when the ball was on a good length with sideways movement it was harder to score…you had to patient since Guyana bowled well,” said Braithwaite who has eight centuries from 59 Tests.
“Our batting improved as the tournament progressed but batsmen got starts but did carry on to get hundreds and that’s an area we have to work on,” said the patient right-hander who bats in a Shiv Chanderpaul like manner.
Kyle Mayers scored two centuries and five fifties in his 654 runs, while Sheyne Mosley (490) and Shamarh Brooks with 263 runs are the only other batsmen to convert a good start into a ton.
The next round has been put on hold for a month due to spreading of the Coronavirus.
“I won’t say I am disappointed since this is world-wide epidemic and the safety of the players and spectators is the major concern at this time…Hopefully when the month is over we will still have two matches to play,” concluded Braithwaite who is Barbados’ third highest run scorer this season with 468 runs with three half-centuries.
Barbados are scheduled to depart Guyana today.
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