Hodge shines for Leewards
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (CMC):
A steady half century by opener Montcin Hodge and other valuable contributions from Kieran Powell and Gavin Williams gave the Leeward Islands a plucky start to their fifth-round WICB Regional first-class match against the Windward Islands yesterday.
Electing to bat on a Bourda track that offered little assistance to the bowlers, the Leewards gathered 254 for five by stumps, with the experienced Wilden Cornwall (23) and Omari Banks (18) at the crease.
Hodge, a 22-year-old from Anguilla, stroked 61, while Powell (48), Williams (44) and captain Steve Liburd (39) also scored well for the Leewards, whose batting has struggled so far in the tournament.
The pick of the bowlers so far is Shane Shillingford, whose figures at the close read two for 73 from 28 overs, while there was one wicket each for Nelon Pascal, Deighton Butler and Rawl Lewis.
Openers Hodge and Mali Richards started the innings watchfully, more content on placing the ball in the gaps and looking for the singles.
They moved the score to 22 runs in the first hour, before Richards, who was a model in defence, attempted to flick the off-spinner Shillingford off his pads and only succeeded in offering a catch to wicketkeeper Lyndon James.
He stood at the crease for almost one minute before trudging off in disappointment, seemingly questioning umpire Clyde Duncan's decision. Richards made 12.
His departure brought the hard-hitting Powell to the centre and in his usual style, the young Nevisian left-handed played his strokes, belting Shillingford through mid-wicket for a boundary, and together with Hodge took the Leewards to 63 for one at the lunch interval.