ST JOHN’S, Antigua, (CMC) – Half-centuries from debutant Desron Maloney and captain Kavem Hodge underpinned a clinical Windward Islands Volcanoes run chase as they stunned Barbados Pride by three wickets on a tense final day of the first round clash here Sunday.
Beginning their pursuit of 269 for victory at the start of the day at Arnos Vale Stadium, Volcanoes were propelled by a top score of 83 from Maloney while Hodge composed a responsible 60.
They were backed up by former captain and Test batsman Kirk Edwards who made 35 while Keron Cottoy struck an invaluable unbeaten 28 batting at number seven and Alick Athanaze chipped in with 28.
Volcanoes suffered a massive blow in the morning’s sixth over when their marquee batsman, left-hander Devon Smith, fell cheaply for eight with the score on 19.
However, the hosts then batted well in partnerships to snuff out the Pride challenge as only Test left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican (3-68) posed any real threat.
Maloney struck 12 fours in an innings spanning 197 deliveries and nearly four hours as he put on 109 for the second wicket with Hodge.
Together, they took Volcanoes to lunch at 91 one for one before Hodge perished in the second session after facing 99 balls in exactly two hours and striking seven fours, bowled by part-time seamer Jonathan Carter.
Maloney added a further 63 with Edwards before going caught at the wicket off off-spinner Ashley Nurse but Edwards put on 25 for the fourth wicket with Athanaze to keep the run chase alive.
The only real stumble came when Edwards and Athanaze fell four runs and nine balls apart to leave Volcanoes on 220 for five but Cottoy remained unruffled to see his side home.
At the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium in Antigua, five-time reigning champions Guyana Jaguars wasted little time in stamping their superiority when they crushed Leeward Islands Hurricanes by 10 wickets.
They bundled the hosts out for 254 after they resumed on 214 for six, with left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul (3-55) and left-arm seamer Raymon Reifer (3-55) finishing with three wickets apiece.
Debutant Nial Smith, who claimed six wickets in the first innings, finished with two for 41.
Captain Jahmar Hamilton finished on 37 not out but was the only one to show any resistance as Hurricanes lost their last four wickets for 40 runs.
Jaguars then easily overhauled the paltry 25 runs required for victory.
At the Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad, Paul Palmer struck an excellent unbeaten hundred to salvage a draw for Jamaica Scorpions.
Resuming on 86 for one, Scorpions batted the entire day to finish on 300 for eight with the left-hander carving out 116 – his second first class hundred but first in three years.
He faced 216 balls in 4-¾ hours and counted 10 fours to follow up his first innings half-century. The knock was also his second hundred in as many matches following his 105 for Combined Campuses and Colleges in the Super50 Cup last November.
Importantly, he put on 131 for the third wicket with Jermaine Blackwood whose 78 came from 192 balls in exactly four hours and included nine fours.
Left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein followed up his first innings four-wicket haul with three for 65.