John, Solozano, Melius hand Volcanoes early ascendancy against Barbados Pride

By Sports Desk February 14, 2024
Solozano unbeaten on 63, heading into second day's play. Solozano unbeaten on 63, heading into second day's play. file

Ryan John continued his impressive run of form at the top of the West Indies Championship, as his four-wicket haul, backed by a solid opening partnership between Jeremy Solozano and Kimani Melius, placed Windward Islands Volcanoes in the early ascendancy on the opening day of their encounter against Barbados Pride on Wednesday.

With both teams coming off handsome victories over Jamaica Scorpions and Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners respectively, this was expected to be an entertaining clash, and it has so far delivered accordingly at Kensington Park, in Jamaica.

John, who took a five-wicket haul in his match figures of 6-64 against the Scorpions, grabbed 4-47 in 16 overs to restrict Barbados Pride to 214 in just under 50 overs. Kevin Wickham, who scored 139 in Pride’s first round win, was again atop the batting chart with 74 off 104 balls, including 10 fours.

Solozano, unbeaten on 63 off 110 balls, including eight fours and captain Melius, unbeaten on 52 off 114 balls, including four boundaries, then guided Volcanoes to 123, 91 runs away from first innings honours with all 10 wickets still intact.

Scores: Barbados Pride 214 all out (49.5 overs); Windward Islands Volcanoes 123 without loss (37.0 overs) trail by 91 runs.

Barbados Pride’s batting performance was a stark contrast of their rendition against CCC Marooners, as the top-order, which includes captain Kraigg Brathwaite, failed to impress after being asked to take first strike.

Brathwaite (two), Zachary McCaskie (five) and Shayne Moseley (six), all went cheaply, as John knocked down the stumps of McCaskie and Moseley. Jonathan Drakes tried to repair the innings with Wickham, but was run out for 12, while Roshon Primus (12), also had a brief stay in the middle.

Wickham eventually got some assistance from wicketkeeper/batsman Shane Dorwich (37) to gradually repair the damage, before John and Darel Cyrus accounted for both.

Jomel Warrican with a 23-ball 21, was the next best scorer of the Pride’s topsy-turvy innings.

John’s four-wicket haul was supported by Cyrus and Shamar Springer, who ended with 2-41 and 2-61 respectively.

It seems there was nothing the Volcanoes could do wrong on the day and their turn at bat demonstrated just that. The left-hand, right-hand combination of Solozano and Melius frustrated the Pride bowlers, as both patiently and skillfully constructed their innings and, more importantly, laid a solid platform on which they can build, on Thursday’s second day.

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