Barbados snatch nerve-wracking win over Windwards

Staring at defeat with the Windwards on 191 for seven in pursuit of 207 for victory, Barbados grabbed three wickets in the space of eight balls to turn the game on its head at Arnos Vale, as the hosts were dismissed for 195.

Dwayne Smith, whose medium pace has been pivotal for Barbados this season, once again led the attack with three for 30, while off-spinners Ashley Nurse (2-34) and Roston Chase (2-37), along with seamer and captain Carlos Brathwaite (2-36), all picked up two wickets.

The experienced Andre Fletcher, batting at number four, top-scored with 65 not out — an innings which spanned 189 minutes,162 balls and contained eight fours.

When the hosts crashed from a comfortable position of 95 for two to 134 for seven, Fletcher came to their rescue in a 57-run, eighth wicket stand with Alston Bobb which threatened to take the game away from Barbados.

Bobb, better known for his left-arm spin, scored 26 off 57 balls with four fours but was one of two wickets to fall to Chase in the space of three deliveries.

In the very next over, Smith trapped last man Kenroy Peters lbw off the first ball the batsman faced, to spark jubilant celebrations by the visiting players.

Earlier, Barbados were bowled out in their second innings for 128, after resuming the final day of the fourth round encounter on 93 for five.

Smith cracked four fours in a run-a-ball 21 but the last five wickets fell for 35 runs, with Omar Phillips unavailable after having returned home with a head injury sustained in the first innings.

Off-spinner Shane Shillingford picked up five for 46 while seamers Peters (2-25) and Mervin Mathew (2-27), claimed two wickets apiece.

The Windwards went in chase of their target, with Keddy Lesporis and first innings century-maker Johnson Charles posting an intelligent 58 for the first wicket.

Lesporis made a busy 45 off just 53 balls with four fours while Charles struck a four and a six in 25 off 48 deliveries.

Brathwaite got the breakthrough in the final over before lunch when he had Charles caught by Jonathan Carter at gully, as the Windwards reached the interval at 58 for one.

Afterward, Lesporis carried the innings, adding 20 for the second wicket with Sunil Ambris (8) but Barbados hit back, removing Ambris and Lesporis in the space of 17 runs, as the Windwards began to slip.

Five wickets in all tumbled for 39 runs to leave the hosts in a muddle until Fletcher and Bobb attempted their heroics but in vain.


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