He stayed and he played. A delayed flight signalled problems for Clarke Road United, as it meant that Sunil Narine would not leave for India at the scheduled time, thus allowing the ace off-spinner to line up for Queen’s Park Cricket Club I at the Queen’s Park Oval in St Clair, Port-of-Spain in the T&T Cricket Board Premiership Division I, on Saturday.
Narine has taken 31 wickets in the previous three matches with four consecutive five-wicket hauls in the lead-up to the clash with Clarke Road and the Clarke Road batsmen would have been happy had the flight remained as scheduled.
Instead, it was Narine, who bamboozled the batsmen as he took magical figures in 6.4 overs, six maidens and seven wickets for no runs, as seven was certainly Clarke Road’s unlucky number.
Queen’s Park did not hesitate to bowl first on a pitch that was actually a fourth-day surface, as the match is being played on the same pitch the Leeward Islands Hurricanes defeated the Barbados Pride inside three days on Friday.
Jon Russ Jaggesar and Sion Hacket cleared the way for Narine, as they got rid of the first three Clarke Road batsmen, Dejourn Charles, Nicholas Sookdeosingh and Joshua Persaud. Then, Narine produced his magical bowling spell as the Clarke Road batsmen had no clue how to play the off-spinner.
Clarke Road was eventually bundled over for 76 runs in only 24 overs.
In their turn at the crease, Queen’s Park seemed to have batted on a different pitch as the batsmen had little issues in getting to 268 for 3 declared.
All of the batsmen got starts, with Isaiah Rajah getting to 100 not out from only 98 balls with eight fours and two sixes. Kirstan Kallicharan got to 64, while Camillo Carimbocas continued his good form to score 57 and Jordan Warner got to 46.
At the close of play, league leaders Clarke Road were 16 without loss in their second innings, with an entire day to save the match and earn a draw, possibly setting Queen’s Park a target. But to do that, they have to find a way to keep Narine out, as the India-bound spinner now has 38 wickets in just his fourth match this season.
At Invaders Ground in Felicity, Chaguanas, out of favour West Indies white ball opener Evin Lewis scored 206 for his second hundred of the season.
The hard-hitting left-hander hit 12 fours and nine sixes in his 22-ball knock.
Navin Bidiasee added 119 and Daniel Williams scored 85 as Powergen forced Central Sports to field all day at home.
Play resumes at 10 am in all matches, Sunday.
AT QUEEN’S PARK OVAL: Clarke Road Utd 76 (24.4 overs) (Dejourn Charles 21, Yanick Ottley 20, Sunil Narine 7/0) and 16 without loss in 12 overs vs Queen’s Park I 268 for 3 declared in 52.2 overs (Isaiah Rajah 100 not out, Kirstan Kallicharan 64, Camillo Carimbocas 57, Kirwin Sirju 1/38).
AT INVADERS GROUND: Powergen 490/4 (93 overs) (Evin Lewis 206, Navin Bidiasee 119, Daniel Williams 85, Mark Deyal 2/96).