Big win for Jamaica
By Adriel Richard
PROVIDENCE, Guyana, CMC – Their bowlers led by Krishmar Santokie set it up and the batsmen ushered Jamaica to a seven-wicket victory over Leeward Islands with a flourish in the Regional Super50 Tournament on Thursday.
Gaining appreciable swing in overcast conditions, the left-arm medium-fast Santokie bowled impressively to earn the Man-of-the-Match, grabbing three wickets for 30 runs from 10 overs, as the Leewards, sent in to bat, were dismissed for 96 in 35 overs in their rain-marred Group-B match at the Guyana National Stadium.
Typically robust batting from the top order hastened the Jamaicans to victory with 176 balls remaining, Tamar Lambert exemplifying the urgency with two sixes and a four from four balls in Jacques Taylor’s fourth over to formalise the victory.
The result meant that Jamaica walked away with eight points (four for victory, two Super Bowling Points for dismissing Leewards out for under 150, and two Super Batting Points for scoring at more than six runs-an-over) and Leewards with minus two points for losing so woefully.
The Jamaicans face Combined Campuses & Colleges on Saturday at Everest in their second group match, at the same time Leewards meet Trinidad & Tobago at this same venue.
Overnight and morning rain delayed the start for 1 ½ hours, reducing the match to 45 overs-a-side, and Jamaica made light work of the Leewards’ batting, never allowing them to take charge.
Santokie struck twice in succession in the fifth over, when he trapped Austin Richards Jr lbw for nine and bowled fellow left-hander Chesney Hughes for a first-ball duck to leave Leewards 12 without loss.
After Santokie and new-ball partner Andrew Richardson applied the early pressure, the Jamaican spin pair of Nikita Miller and Odean Brown further tied the Leewards’ batsmen down with steady, if not spectacular bowling.
Miller got Leewards captain Javia Liburd to crack under the pressure and bowled him behind his back for 11 to spark a collapse that saw the sub-regional team slide to 49 for six in the 22nd over.
Jamaica met late resistance from Justin Athanaze with the Leewards top score of 23 from 26 balls that included three sixes before they wrapped up the innings well before the rescheduled interval before innings.
Chris Gayle was unusually subdued and fellow opener Kennar Lewis gave the Jamaicans a brisk start, leading them to 55 without loss from eight overs at the interval.
Gayle, whose 22 from 30 balls included just one four and two sixes, was bowled playing back to Athanaze in the first over after the resumption.
Lewis struck two fours and two sixes in 28 from 25 balls and was almost decapitated by a beamer from Gavin Tonge before he was lbw sweeping at Jacques Taylor in the following over.
Next over, Shawn Findlay was adjudged lbw to Athanaze for one playing forward, leaving Jamaica 60 for three, but Lambert, not out on 28, joined Xavier Marshall, not out on 18, and they marched their side to victory with little or no trouble.
The Regional Super50 continues on Friday, when Windwards play Barbados at Everest in their second Group-A match, at the same time hosts Guyana tackle West Indies High Performance Centre at the Guyana National Stadium.