January 18, 2008
Windwards goes under to Leewards

The senior Windward Islands cricket team has six weeks to reflect and regroup, if they are to make a dent on this year’s Carib Beer Series.

The Windwards next match is against the Combined Colleges and Campuses from February 29 to March 3, in St. Lucia, when the competition resumes after it has made way for the Stanford 20/20 competition.{{more}}

Stacked at the bottom of the seven team table, without a point, the Windwards has lost two matches in succession. The latest defeat came last weekend, when they went under to the Leewards by 31 runs in Grenada.

Set 289 for victory, the Windwards reached 254, all out. But a defeat was always on the cards from day one, when the Windwards allowed the Leewards last wicket pair of Gavin Tonge and Anthony Martin to add 71. Tonge was the topscorer with 57, as the Leewards rallied from 130 for 89 to make 201. Shane Shillingford was the pick of the Windwards bowling with 6 for 66.

At their turn at the crease, the Windwards’ template was in full effect, as they fell for 134. Only Miles Bascombe’s 42 was any score of note, as the brittle batting crumbled once again. Discarded West Indies fast bowler Adam Sanford bagged 4 for 34, Omari Banks, 2 for 29, and Chaka Hodge, 2 for 16, set the Windwards back peddling.

The Leewards, batting a second time, fared marginally better, as they reached 221. Banks, showing his worth with the bat, led from the front with 57, with Javia Liburd making 36. Duplicating his opposite number Banks, Windwards’ Captain Deighton Butler recorded bowling figures of 4 for 50, and his Vice-Captain Liam Sebastian chipped with 3 for 62.

In their victory chase, the Windwards had a promising start, with the opening pair of Bascombe and Heron Campbell putting on 57 for the first wicket, before Bascombe went by the LBW route for 30, to give Martin the first of his three wickets. Campbell and Andre Fletcher, then added another 66 runs for the second wicket. Campbell hit 48, and Fletcher 57, but after they departed, the soft under belly of the Windwards batting was exposed. A fighting knock by Sebastian stalled the Leewards’ victory. He and Butler added 43 for the eighth wicket, but Butler became one of Tonito Willett’s five victims, to end his team’s resistance. Sebastian was left 54 not out. Willett took his best bowling figures at this level, 5 for 31, to earn the Man of the Match award, and set his team off the mark with full points.

Martin’s three wickets came at the cost of 78 runs and Banks had 2 for 52.

The Windwards would be banking on the return of their three West Indies players, who are in South Africa, and are expected to bolster their fortunes. The missing trio are opening batsman Devon Smith, all rounder Darren Sammy and team captain Rawl Lewis.

In other second round results, Jamaica completed a 10 wicket win over the debutantes, the Combined Colleges and Campuses, to jointly share top of the table honours with Barbados. Summarised scores: CCC 99 and 213. Jamaica 286 and 28 without loss.

And the other second round match, Barbados crushed Guyana by an innings and 57 runs. Guyana made 185 and 289. Barbados, in their only innings, scored 531.Jason Haynes, 111 and Ryan Hinds, 108. Guyana is also winless after two matches.

The next round starts this today, Friday, with Guyana meeting Jamaica in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago meets the Leewards in St. Maarten and CCC faces Barbados in Barbados, before the series takes a break.(RT)