– Guyana’s junior cricketers continue in the rich tradition of dominance against its regional counterparts
Starting the 2015 edition as reigning champions and also enjoying home advantage, the young Guyanese were able to retain the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Regional Under-15 50-overs title.
The home team ended the tournament in grandiose fashion when they trounced the Windward Islands by 98 runs in the 5th and final round game at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.
In a tournament severely affected by the inclement weather, Guyana needed a victory to retain championship honors after two of their earlier matches were rained out, much to the advantage of their opponents who were ahead of them by five points going into the contest.
But shrewd leadership by Guyana’s Captain, Ashmead Nedd, saw the home team playing like true champions. Batting first after winning the toss against the Windward Islands, the Guyanese racked up 199-9 off their 50 overs.
The opening pair of Junior Sinclair (25) and Robin Williams (38) laid a solid foundation for the home team, adding 77 before Demerara Cricket Club left-hander Sachin Singh anchored the innings with a crafty 45.
Additionally, Kevlon Anderson contributed 37, while off-spinner Jahseon Alexander snared 4-41 for the Windward Islands. St. Lucian left-arm orthodox spinner Simeon Gerson supported well, with 3-54.
The Islanders were in for a rude awakening as they were sent packing for 101 in 38.1 overs, courtesy of some disciplined bowling led by left-arm spinner and player-of-the-match Kevlon Umroa, who snatched 5-32.
Fast bowler Haifa Walters was the perfect foil for Umroa, with 2-5. The Windward Islands players were never allowed to get into stride by the Guyanese who kept the stranglehold on their opponents from the first to the final delivery of the innings.
Only opening batsman Dhan-Raj Cepal was able to handle what the young Guyanese had to offer with the top score of 35 from 101 balls. The only other batters into double figures were Rene Montoute with 12, and Razim Elehie, 11.
Summary of the earlier rounds
Guyana campaign did not get off to the best of starts, because rain ruined their opening encounter against Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) at Albion, similar to the case at Enmore between Barbados and the Leeward Islands.
Windward Islands had the advantage of playing three of the five scheduled games at the National Stadium, arguably the fastest drying ground in the Caribbean, and they made the most of the opportunity: they toppled Jamaica by 46 runs.
In round two, the home team finally got an opportunity to showcase their skills, and wasted little time in disposing the Leeward Islands. The Islanders took first strike and were skittled for 90. Only Paul Miller negotiated the bowling with any degree of success; he made 20.
Pacer Alphius Bookie picked up 3-8 while Qumar Torrington and Haifa Walters had two each. Sachin Singh led Guyana’s run chase with a score, Guyana replied with 94-3 in 24.4 overs.
Barbados thumped Jamaica by seven wickets at Albion. There was no play at Enmore between T&T and Windward Islands after overnight rain left the outfield waterlogged.
In round three, T&T defeated Jamaica by nine wickets on the Duckworth/Lewis method. Batting first, Jamaica was sent packing with 125 in 40.1 overs. T&T replied with 125-1 in 34.3 overs.
Windwards got the better of Leewards by 18 runs. Windwards took first strike and were bowled out for 118 in 47.4 overs. Leewards were limited to 100 in 40.4 overs in reply. The Guyana and Barbados encounter was rained out at Everest.
Round four play saw Guyana handing their counterparts from Jamaica one of the worst defeats in the history of the competition. The home team hammered Jamaica by nine wickets at the Albion Community Center Ground in Berbice.
Leading from the front was Captain Ashmead Nedd who snared 3-3, while Alphius Bookie (2-2), Qumar Torrington (2-7) and Haifa Walters (2-14) backed up well. Jamaica was sent back to the pavilion for a mere 27. Guyana replied with 28-1 in 7.5 overs.
Windward Islands’ winning streak continued as they thumped Barbados by five wickets at the National Stadium. Barbados took first strike and posted 201-8; the Windwards responded with 204-5. There was no play at Everest between T&T and Leewards due to rain.
At the closing ceremony, the Windward Islands dominated the individual awards. One of the tournament’s brightest prospects, Kimani Melius, received the awards for being Leading Run Scorer and for the Highest Individual Score. Jason Alexander took the accolade for taking the Most Wickets, while Tahj Tavernier received the prize for the Most Dismissals by a Wicket-Keeper.
Barbados was given the Most Disciplined Team trophy, while Nyeem Young (Barbados) was adjudged the Best All-Rounder.
Speaking at the closing ceremony held at the historical and once world famous, Georgetown Cricket Club, Director of Sport, Christopher Jones, informed that Guyana’s government is committed to the development of sport.
Jones also took time out to congratulate the Guyana team on their achievement of retaining the championship. The home team ended with 19.5 points, while runner-up Windward Islands managed 18.2.
Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) President, Drubahadur thanked the WICB for affording Guyana the opportunity to host the competition, pointing out that he was impressed with the talent of the players whom he urged to take the game seriously.