January 16, 2009
Smith shines in Windwards party

He may not have found favour with the West Indies Cricket selectors recently, but Devon Smith gave the three man panel a nudge last weekend, as he notched up a double century to help the Windwards to an innings and 147 run defeat of Guyana, in their opening match of the 2008 WICB sponsored four day regional competition.{{more}}

The Grenadian left handed opening batsman, playing in front his home crowd at the Grenada National Stadium, faced 325 balls, striking 18 fours and four sixes, as the Windwards, replying to Guyana’s 172, made 414 for nine declared.

Shane Shillingford, who bagged 4 for 43, when Guyana batted the first time, laced 51, dotted with eight boundaries, while Darren Sammy, who batted at number five, scored 57.

Only captain Travis Dowlin, with an even 50, was the highlight of an otherwise pathetic batting display by the Guyanese in their first innings.

Set 242 to make the Windwards bat again, Guyana was dismissed for a paltry 95. The man responsible for their demise was former West Indies fast bowler, Deighton Butler, who sliced through their top order.

The left arm seamer bagged 5 for 29, and Shillingford, 3 for 11, as the Windwards took maximum 12 points.

And Coach of the Windwards unit, Vincentian Ian Allen, speaking to SEARCHLIGHT from Grenada last Tuesday, said he wants his charges to sustain the momentum and even go better in their upcoming fixture this weekend, also in the Spice Isle.

“There is always room for improvement, and playing against Barbados will be a tougher game,” he projected.

“We have to try to bat at least a day and a half and put together partnerships consistently”, he added.

Allen has a lot of confidence in his bowling, and thinks that area is well served.

Reflecting on the Guyana triumph, Allen said that it was an all round effort which made the difference.

“We had two fifty partnerships and one over a hundred,” the former St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Windwards and West Indies fast bowler said.

“I think we played well as a team,” he continued.

He hinged the performance on a carry over from the previous weekend’s win over the Leewards in a warm up match in St. Kitts.

Allen said: “We were focussed, and you could have seen that the warm up match helped in our preparations”.

The Windwards finished fifth in the 2008 competition, then called the Carib Beer Series.

Going into this weekend’s second round, the Windwards is tied at the top with title holders Jamaica, who carved out a come from behind six wicket win over the Leewards.

In the other match last weekend, Trinidad and Tobago earned first innings points at the expense of host Barbados.

The other fixtures this weekend see Trinidad and Tobago hosting Jamaica and the Combined Campuses and Colleges facing Guyana in Barbados.

This year’s competition will see a two round format, with each team meeting each other twice.