TAROUBA, Trinidad (CMC) – Jason Mohammed struck his 14th first-class half-century and third of the season to spearhead a strong Trinidad and Tobago Red Force batting effort, on the opening day of their rescheduled first-round match in the Regional Four-Day Championship against Jamaica Scorpions here yesterday.
Choosing to bat first at Brian Lara Stadium, Red Force finished the day on 338 for five with Mohammed eyeing triple figures unbeaten on 89.
The right-hander faced 149 deliveries in just over 3-¼ hours at the crease and struck seven fours and three sixes.
Openers Kyle Hope with 64 and Jeremy Solozano, 63, also chipped in with half-centuries while captain Denesh Ramdin struck 41 and Lendl Simmons 30.
Speedster Nicholson Gordon, in his third first-class match but first in three seasons, bowled superbly to finish with four for 49.
His effort was required after Red Force kept the visitors wicket-less in the first session as Hope and Solozano took their side to lunch at 116 without loss.
All told, they added 127 for the first wicket before Hope was lbw to Nicholson early in the second session, after facing 100 balls in 128 minutes and striking 10 fours.
His dismissal triggered a slide that saw Red Force lose three wickets for nine runs to slump to 136 for three, as Gordon ran through the top order in a devastating spell accounting for Joshua Da Silva (5) and Solozano.
The left-handed Solozano struck 11 fours off 126 deliveries in nearly 2-½ hours at the crease, passing 500 runs for the season in the process.
Mohammed then arrived to anchor three successive half-century stands which propped up Red Force innings. First, he added 51 for the fourth wicket with Simmons, in a partnership which took the hosts to tea at 235 for four.
When Simmons played on to the first ball of leg-spinner Nkrumah Bonner’s first spell, Mohammed put on a further 87 for the fifth wicket with Ramdin who counted five fours in a 65-ball knock.
Gordon returned to remove Ramdin to a catch at the wicket off one that lifted sharply but Mohammed and Khary Pierre, unbeaten on 26, have so far put on 64 in an unbroken sixth-wicket stand.