Athanaze century, Scorpions meltdown share spotlight on first day
MANSINGH.... scored 27 for the Scorpions (Photo: CWI Media/Philip Spooner)

ST JOHN'S, Antigua (CMC) — A second hundred for the season for Windward Islands Volcanoes batsman Alick Athanaze and the collapse of the Jamaica Scorpions batting were the headline acts in the West Indies Championship on Wednesday.

Athanaze, a century-maker in the first round of matches, manhandled the bowling of leaders Guyana Harpy Eagles and hit 141 to lead the Volcanoes to 292 for eight in their first innings, on a rain-marred first day in the second round of the championship.

Two-time defending champions Barbados Pride were 89 for two after three bowlers — led by Shamar Springer — finished with three wickets, and they bowled out Jamaica Scorpions for 140 in their first innings.

Out-of-favour international batsman Darren Bravo looked poised for a hundred after he anchored Trinidad & Tobago Red Force to 151 for three in their first innings against hosts Leeward Islands Hurricanes.

In Grenada, Athanaze struck 16 fours from 220 balls in a little over 4 1/2 hours at the crease to be the rock upon which the Volcanoes have built their first innings so far after they chose to bat at the National Cricket Stadium.

Volcanoes ran into early trouble when the Harpy Eagles new-ball pair of Ronsford Beaton and Nial Smith sent them sliding to 26 for three inside the first 45 minutes.

Beaton made the breakthrough in the third over when he got Kimani Melius for two, and got former Volcanoes Captain Kavem Hodge caught behind for 14. In-between, Smith got Jerlani Robinson for five.

But Athanaze was the glue that held the Volcanoes innings together, and he shared three half-century stands that added substance to the innings.

He put on 76 for the fourth wicket with discarded West Indies batsman Sunil Ambris, shared 89 for the fifth wicket with imported Barbadian all-rounder Justin Greaves, and 90 with fellow former West Indies Under-19 Ryan John for the seventh wicket.

John was not out on 50 when play came to a close two overs after Athanaze was caught behind off Test spinner Veerasammy Permaul, Ambris scored 47, and Greaves made 21.

Beaton, Permaul, and off-spinenr Kevin Sinclair have taken two wickets apiece for the Harpy Eagles.

In Antigua, Springer, the former Windies Under-19 all-rounder, was the pick of the Pride bowlers, taking a flattering 3-11 from 9.5 overs.

Left-arm spinner Camarie Boyce supported with 3-26 from 11 overs, and pacer Akeem Jordan bagged 3-48 from 17 overs.

Scorpions, choosing to bat, never recovered once they slumped to 44 for four before lunch, and needed a stand of 44 between Jamie Merchant, whose 35 was the top score, and Abhijai Mansingh with 27 to beef up their total.

Pride, looking to bounce back from feeble batting that led to a demoralising loss in the first round, got an opening stand of 40 from left-handed opener Shayne Moseley, not out 41, and Zacharay McCaskie before two wickets in 10 balls set them back.

McCaskie and rookie batsman Jonathan Drakes were both caught behind off pacers Ojay Shields and Gordon Bryan before Moseley and out-of-favour Windies batsman Shamarh Brooks shared 48 unbroken batting together for close to an hour before the close.

Elsewhere in Antigua, Bravo was unbeaten on 74 and Yannic Cariah was not out on 32, and they have so far shared 82 unbroken for the fourth wicket to stabilise the Red Force batting at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

The visitors wobbled to eight for two inside the first half-hour before Bravo anchored successive half-century stands with fellow international Jason Mohammed and Cariah.

Mohammed added 74 with Bravo before he was caught behind off pacer Sheeno Berridge before Cariah came to the crease and blunted the Hurricanes' attack in-between the showers.

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