Barbados Under-13 cricket on the up
BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS - The dust has now settled on the fifth annual Inspire Sports/National Sports Council Under-13 Cricket Competition.
Congratulations to repeat champions MIX 96. 9 FM Dover Juniors and commiseration to Fusionz Boutique Passage United, the losing finalists for the second straight year. Passage United won the first three editions of the tournament.
This year’s tournament was blessed with excellent weather and pitches.
The quality of cricket on the field continues to be on the rise and this was evident right down to the end, when Dover Juniors took the title by six wickets with 12 balls left, chasing 152 in the final at the Wanderers Club.
There was tremendous improvement shown by a number of teams. Leading the way was Ellerton Juniors, who reached the semi-finals for the first time. North Stars Juniors were also a vastly improved side and reached the quarter-finals for the first time.
The only newcomers, ICBL Empire Juniors, gave a good account of themselves with some good individual performances despite not winning a match.
Last year in my review I asked for fast bowlers/medium-pacers be given a chance to shine and that request was answered.
A look at some of the leading wicket-takers for this year’s tournament showed these types of bowlers – the likes of Nyeem Young (14), Jaden Edmund (13), Jared Lovell (12), Shaquon Collymore (11), Ondre Callender (11) and Treasure Griffith (10) – all made a mark.
There were some others who looked the part despite not taking many wickets.
It is a work in progress but going forward the bowlers will have to learn the art of being consistent in line and length because too many wides were conceded from both pace and spin.
As expected the spinners again made their presence felt. Micah Thornhill of Passage United and left-arm orthodox Camarie Boyce of Dover Juniors were the joint top wicket-takers with 19 scalps each.
Significantly, it was the third successive year off-spinner Thornhill had the honour of capturing the most wickets. He has played in all five finals.
Other spinners who made the grade were Shakkae Marshall with 17 wickets, Joshua Bishop 16, Shian Brathwaite and Maxwell Lewis 14, Shawnico King 13 and Renico Brewster 12. Winston Springer bagged 17 wickets with a mixture of pace and spin.
Batting against spin is an area the coaches still need to work on with their charges. It is the simple things like rotating the strike, being innovative and the use of their feet that found the youngsters wanting.
There were four centuries compared to five last year.
Jadan Jones made a successful switch from a middle order batsman to an opener for the champions. His tournament-high of 412 runs at an average of 51.50, including one century and two fifties made him the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
His teammates, Nyeem Young and Kadeem Alleyne, scored 290 and 289 runs respectively. Alleyne had the highest score of 113 not out.
Passage United trio of Kilano Brathwaite (271 runs), Shakkae Marshall (239) and Ajani Waterman (228 with a hundred) were among the top ten batsmen.
CounterPoint Wanderers Juniors produced the tournament’s best all-rounder in Jared Lovell, who scored 266 runs, including a century, and took 12 wickets. St Philip Juniors’ Treasure Griffith and Shian Brathwaite scored 261 and 203 runs respectively.
The tournament was very well supported every Sunday by parents and well-wishers.