NORTH SOUND, Antigua (CMC) – Thirty-eight overs was all it took for Leeward Islands Hurricanes’ already slim chances of winning the Regional Four-Day Championship to vanish completely.
Starting their rescheduled fourth round match against Barbados Pride 23 points behind leaders Guyana Jaguars in second and needing every available batting and bowling point in order to top the standings, the hosts were bundled out for 90 in their first innings.
Their batting demise confirmed Jaguars as champions for a fifth straight season, with Leon Johnson’s side now holding an unassailable lead with 154.2 points, following the completion of their complement of matches last weekend.
For Hurricanes, opener Montcin Hodge was the only batsman to pass 20 with 24 as fast bowler Keon Harding ripped through the innings with five for 29, to record his second five-wicket haul in his 10th first class outing.
Test seamer Miguel Cummins supported with three for 24 while Jamaican pacer Marquino Mindley picked up two for 19.
In reply, captain Shamarh Brooks stroked an unbeaten 79 as Pride finished on 154 for four to finish the day with a 64-run lead.
Their highly-regarded top order failed to leave Barbados on 92 for four but Brooks and Test wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich, on 28 not out, have so far posted 62 in an unbroken fifth-wicket stand.
Brooks, without a century this season, has faced 144 balls and struck 11 fours.
Hurricanes had earlier lost Keacy Carty to the first ball of the encounter at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, caught at slip by Jonathan Carter off Cummins, and never really recovered.
There was no sign of the pending collapse when Hodge and Devon Thomas (11) put on 36 for the second wicket – the highest stand of the innings – but once Harding had Thomas caught at backward square, Hurricanes slipped into terminal decline.