Polius leaves WWI selectors with headache
GROS ISLET, ST LUCIA - It was an absolute tragedy for the Windward Islands when Liam Sebastien, their captain, was ruled out of the opening match of the Regional 4 Day tournament against the Combined Campuses & Colleges at the Beausejour Cricket Ground in Saint Lucia, or so it looked.
His replacement was Dalton Polius, a 22 year old young man with great experience in the game. If you don't follow Windward Islands cricket closely, you may have missed his name. He's played at almost every level of St Lucian and Windward Islands cricket, while also playing his trade as an allrounder in English cricket.
Yet, when the name Polius was called to replace the ill Sebastien, he was overlooked to bigger names such as Devon Smith and Andre Fletcher. He entered the crease at a time when the Windward Islands needed someone to hold the innings together. The lead was just 40 and the home side were five wickets down. Polius batted sensibly against a CCC attack that had their tails up, who had forced a mini collapse from 203/2.
Together with Lyndon James, he took his side to safety on Day 2, then formed a half-century partnership with Shane Shillingford on the morning of Day 3 to take the Windwards' score past 400. He scored 77 before he was caught behind. His knock always gives the Windward Islands selectors a headache of a second round fixture next week against Trinidad and Tobago.
He said of his innings, "It's kind of a sick feeling right now. I wanted to score three figures, but it's a good contribution to my team, and when I came into the team, I wanted to make a contribution." He also said to come in for Sebastien and make an immediate impact felt good.
However, with such good form shown early in the season, and Sebastien due to return against the Red Force, it must leave young Polius disappointed. St Lucia's double cricketer of the year in 2008/09 said, "Of course I'm disappointed but as I said, I just wanted to contribute today, and I was happy to make a major contribution to my team's score and lead, and now we're closer to victory. But also, it's a long season, and it was nice to show the selectors I'll be around for it."