Emmanuel Stewart’s maiden first class half-century propped up Windward Islands Volcanoes and kept Barbados Pride at bay, on the second day of their Regional Four-Day Championship match on Friday.
Replying to Pride’s 233 all out, Volcanoes reached the close at Arnos Vale Stadium on 230 for seven, to trail by just three runs on first innings.
They were 129 for five at one stage but the 20-year-old Stewart struck exactly 50 not out to bolster the innings and ensure the margins in the contest remained close.
He was helped by Keron Cottoy who made 38 while veteran opener Devon Smith (33), debutant Desron Maloney (30) and former captain and Test batsman Kirk Edwards (27) all made healthy contributions.
Part-time seamer Jonathan Carter (2-16), Test left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican (2-26) and off-spinner Ashley Nurse (2-54) all finished with two wickets each to lead the visitors’ attack.
Volcanoes got an excellent start when Smith and Maloney put on 76 for the first wicket as Pride struggled to get the breakthrough.
Left-hander Smith, last season’s leading scorer, faced 101 balls and counted three fours while Maloney struck four fours in a 78-ball innings.
Maloney’s dismissal, however, triggered a slide and Volcanoes lost three wickets for 17 runs to find themselves on 93 for three.
Edwards was fluent in striking three fours in a 45-ball knock, and posted 29 for the fourth wicket with Alick Athanaze (9), to revive the innings.
But Volcanoes stumbled again, however, as both batsmen perished in the space of 16 balls with seven runs added, to leave the innings on 129 for five.
Stewart then stepped up to anchor a critical 63-run, sixth wicket stand with Cottoy, which hauled Volcanoes back into contention.
All told, Stewart has so far faced 164 balls and struck three fours and two sixes while Cottoy faced 92 balls and counted four fours.
When Pride hit back in the final session to claim Cottoy and Shane Shillingford, Stewart once again stood firm to see his side safely to the close in a 33-run, eighth wicket stand with Sherman Lewis (eight not out).