January 23, 2015
Windwards cricket coach disappointed after team’s exit

Coach of the Windwards senior cricket team Ian Allen is disappointed that the team did not get past the preliminary round of the NAGICO Super-50 tournament, for the second year in succession.{{more}}

Expressing his disappointment with the tournament’s format, Allen told SEARCHLIGHT last Wednesday, “I am not pleased with the format of the tournament, because it didn’t give teams a fair chance to play cricket and also give specialists one-day players a chance to perform….The tournament should have been designed for each team to play each other, followed by the play-off among the four top teams.”

The Windwards ended with one win, one loss and one abandoned match.

“The fact that we didn’t play against the Combined Campuses and Colleges because of unfit outfield, a game we believe we could have won ….The loss against Guyana was a hard one, where I think after a good bowling performance we didn’t bat well…..We had put that defeat behind us and beat defending champion Barbados,” Allen said.

In assessing his team’s overall efforts, Allen commented: “Generally, I was pleased with the way the guys played against Barbados, but unfortunately the way the tournament is structured, we didn’t have a real chance to win the title, which was our ultimate goal…The momentum we got from that game, we were really looking forward to play anyone in the semis.”

The Windwards, winners in 2013, however thought they had a chance after defeating Barbados Pride by 55 runs at Shaw Park in Tobago on Monday.

Johnson Charles stroked a career-best 100, as the Windwards had rattled up 374 for six, off 50 overs.

Charles, batting at the top of the order, scored 177 off 124 deliveries – the highest ever score in the tournament’s history, counting 12 fours and 11 sixes in the process.

Sunil Ambris – 45 not out, Shane Shillingford also 45, Devon Smith – 37 and Keddy Lesporis – 31, all contributed to the Volcanoes’ impression with the bat.

Javon Searles was the Pride’s most successful bowler, with 3 for 60.

In reply, Kevin Stoute belted 82; Shamarh Brooks – 61 and Shai Hope – 58, but their efforts were insufficient as the 2014 champions exited without a win, dismissed for 319 in 49 overs.

Delorn Johnson grabbed 4 for 63 and Shane Shillingford, 2 for 62, to give the Windwards a life- line.

But the Combined Campuses and Colleges eeked out a one-wicket win over Guyana in the corresponding fixture at the Queen’s Park Oval, thus leaving the Windwards to pack their bags and head back to their respective islands.

The Windwards had lost to Guyana by 142 runs in their opening fixture.

Set 228 to win, the Volcanoes were blown out for 85 by the Guyana Jaguars. Veerasammy Permaul spun his way to 4 for 12; Davendra Bishoo had 2 for 11 and Christopher Barnwell – 2 for 23.

Sunil Ambris – 26 not out, was the top scorer.

When the Jaguars batted, Rajendra Chandrika struck 52, Vishual Sighn – 49, Anthony Bramble – 43 not out, Barnwell – 34 and Raymond Reifer – 23 not out, to reach 227 for six from their 50 overs. Shane Shillingford, with 2 for 34 from his 10 overs, was the most successful bowler for the Windwards.

And, their match-up against the CCC was abandoned without a ball being bowled, because of a soggy outfield at the National Cricket Centre at Balmain, Couva in Central Trinidad.

The semi-final match-ups pit Jamaica versus Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago Red Force against the CCC.

The tournament is set for completion this Sunday at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad.(RT)