October 5, 2007

Hector hits century: Grenada holds on for a draw

A brilliant 130 by Vincentian number four batsman Donwell Hector was the highlight of the second round match between St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada in the 2007 Windward Islands senior cricket tournament.{{more}}

Hector, playing in only his second match at this level, batted for 282 minutes, faced 228 balls and struck 13 fours and one six. And he did so with his father Munroe Hector among the spattering of die hard cricket fans looking on in delight in the P H Veira pavilion.

The 18-year-old Hector’s century followed up his two half centuries in his debut match versus St. Lucia. In August, he hit 125 for the Windwards against Barbados in the TCL West Indies Under-19 championships in St. Kitts and Nevis.

But last week Friday belonged to him, as he dominated the Grenadian bowling to all parts of the field, mixing a solid defence with aggression. Hector shared in two half century partnerships. He and Hyron Shallow put on 78 for the third wicket, and 51 for the fourth with Lynden James. Shallow made 42, and James eventually was sixth out for 68, as St. Vincent and the Grenadines reached 395 for 6 declared. Deighton Butler hit a patient 60, not out, and shared a 118 run partnership with James for the sixth wicket.

Grenada’s bowlers were put to the sword on an easy paced Arnos Vale pitch. Camilus Alexander, 2 for 81, Dennis George, 2 for 20, and Nellon Pascal, 2 for 96, shared the wickets for Grenada.

Right arm off spinner Mahlon John, 6 for 52, and right arm leg spinner Orlanzo Jackson, 2 for 30, and one wicket apiece for Dawnley Grant and Butler, Grenada folded for 169, still 226 in arrears. Gavin Roberts, 50, and Andre Fletcher, 41, were the bright sparks for the Grenadians with the bat.

But the script was left for day three Sunday. Wanting another 202 runs to make St. Vincent and the Grenadines bat again, Grenada resumed on 24 for no loss. Two hours were lost on the final day because of a wet outfield, after overnight and early morning showers doused the Arnos Vale Playing Field.

But the Vincentian bowlers went to work, and Grenada lost wickets steadily. Openers Heron Campbell, 33, and Marvin Noel, 31, gave them a good start. The reliable left hander Roberts, batting at number 4, hit 35, before he was set up by left arm seamer Kenroy Peters and was out Leg Before Wicket, but the other batsmen failed to add the stability needed to stave off the Vincentian bowlers.

Then came the drama. A frustrating but tense forty-four minutes of batting between number 9 batsman Dennis George and number 11, Nellon Pascal, denied St. Vincent and the Grenadines full points.

The two came together at 180 for 9, adding 24 runs, and remained at the crease with their wickets in tact.

Victory was in sight for the Vincentians when Pascal came to the wicket, with 44 runs still needed to avoid an innings defeat.

However, he and George warded off what was thrown at them. George survived an easy catch, floored by substitute Harley Skerritt fielding at second slip off Kenroy Peters. George finished 17 not out and occupied the crease for 96 minutes, facing 71 balls, with Pascal a typical number 11, scoring 10 off 40 balls, as they put on an unbeaten stand of 24.

Orlanzo Jackson had 5 for 59, Peters 2 for 25, Deighton Butler 1 for 38, and Mahlon John 1 for 59, as the Vincentians were close but yet so far.