Round 2 of West Indies Championship 2023: Athanaze century keeps Guyana Harpy Eagles at bay

By Brandon Corlette in Grenada

Windward Islands Volcanoes captain Alick Athanaze scored his maiden first-class century on the opening day

Windward Islands Volcanoes captain Alick Athanaze has scored his maiden first-class century against Guyana Harpy Eagles on the opening day of the second round of the West Indies Championship in Grenada.
His organized innings of 141, which had class written all over it, had propelled Volcanoes to 292-8 after 78.5 overs when rain ended the day. The 24-year-old Athanaze was classy with his off-side stroke play during his innings, which came off 220 balls and had 16 fours.

Athanaze was easy on the eye

Earlier, Windward Islands won the toss and elected to bat first at the Grenada National Stadium, after showers in the morning. Both teams were unchanged. Nial Smith and Ronsford Beaton got the Guyana Harpy Eagles off the mark with early wickets, but Smith struggled for consistency.
Smith found the edge of Jerlani Robinson (04), who was caught at second slip by Tevin Imlach. Kimani Melius, who scored 192 last week against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force at this same venue, was dropped on two by Kemol Savory, but he fell soon after without troubling the score.
Melius was removed by the probing Beaton, who had him caught at third slip when the score was at 21-2. Five runs later, Kaveem Hodge was caught at the wicket for 14 off Beaton.

Ambris cutting for four during his cameo

Athanaze and Sunil Ambris joined forces, and the duo added 76 runs for the fourth wicket. Fearless in his approach, and confident after scoring two half-centuries in the opening round, the right-handed Ambris, who struck six fours and two sixes in his 38-ball 47, played across the line and was bowled by Sinclair, with the score at 102-4.
Athanaze, who was dropped on 26 by Savory at backward point off Sinclair with the score on 79-3, showed no mercy after that chance. The left-hander and Justin Greaves went into lunch on 116-4 in 26 overs. Athanaze was on 36 at the interval.
At the resumption, the runs kept flowing for Volcanoes. Athanaze slammed Smith for five elegant fours in one over. The handful of supporters, which included Guyanese living in Grenada, watched in awe as the Volcanoes captain reached his maiden century in 125 balls.
Rookie pacer Shamar Joseph then worked up some energy in a new spell, and reaped success when he found the edge of Greaves at 191-5. The Barbadian Greaves made 21 and featured in a rapid 89-run fifth-wicket partnership.

Ronsford Beaton preparing to bowl (Brandon Corlette photos)

Athanaze, who also scored a Regional Super50 century against Guyana Harpy Eagles in October last year, continued to enjoy the Guyanese bowlers. Wicket-keeper/batsman Tevin Walcott, who was aiming to go big, played a poor shot and was caught in the leg-side for four off the bowling of Sinclair.
At tea, Volcanoes had reached 231-6 in 55 overs when the rains came and some 30 minutes of play were lost. Athanaze was unbeaten on 111 while Ryan John was on 19. John carried on to his maiden first-class fifty while Athanaze was caught at the wicket for 141 off the bowling of Permaul. John and Athanaze featured in a 90-run stand. Kenneth Demer departed for a duck, to leave John and Preston McSween at the crease.
Due to rain and 11.5 overs being lost on day one, the second day is set to resume at 9:36am Eastern Caribbean Time at the Grenada National Stadium.
On a day when conditions were good for batting, Beaton was the pick of the bowlers with 2-50 in 16 overs, including three maidens. Sinclair had 2-64 in 20 overs, and Permaul had 2-70 in 21.5 overs.