PREVIEW: WICB Under 15 Round III
BASSETERRE, St Kitts – It’s close at the top, close in the middle, and close at the bottom. That’s how the WICB Under 15 Table looks heading into Round III of the tournament.
After two rounds of matches, the Windward Islands and Barbados continue the fight for the Championship, but they both have very little competition from other four teams.
After another come-from-behind win, the Windwards leapfrogged Barbados for the first spot, with 34 points. They have little time to relax though as Barbados also won their match against Guyana and closely trail on 31.5 points. The Windwards lead Barbados courtesy a higher number of bowling bonus points.
Go some way down, and then you’ll see Trinidad and Tobago and the Leeward Islands in a mid-table rumble. Both are locked on 16 points after two rounds of matches. And both played each other in Round I.
After seemingly heading for an outright win against T&T in the first round, the Leeward Islands took a detour after losing late wickets. Both teams settled for a draw, with T&T getting first innings points.
The result was no different for the Leewards in Round II, but they came much closer to defeating Jamaica. After setting their opponents 243 to win, the Leeward Islands restricted Jamaica to 122/8 before time was called.
Trinidad and Tobago squandered their advantage against the Windwards in the second round after they controlled the match for much of the two days. The “Trinis” appeared to have learnt little from their Guyanese counterpart after allowing the Windwards to come from behind for the second time in the tournament to steal victory. After setting their opponents 177 to win, T&T could not strict the Windwards and lost by four wickets.
If both teams [T&T and the Leewards] are to start seriously competing for the Championships, they will feel they need a strong performance in this round to catch up with the top two.
At the bottom of the table, Guyana and Jamaica continue to struggle in the 2012 Tournament, and they remain winless.
Guyana only claimed four first innings points against the Windwards in the first round before they lost the match. League-leaders, Barbados, piled more woes on the Guyanese in the second round when they defeated them by eight wickets. Tied with their bowling points achieved, Guyana sits just two points above sixth-placed Jamaica.
With two rounds gone, many would have been expecting Jamaica to be competing at the top of the table for the Championship. Instead, the Reggae Boyz has shocked the tournament after being winless in their first two matches. They have gathered just 5.5 points from both rounds. In the first round, they were defeated by Barbados by 9 wickets and then suffered a first innings loss at the hands of the Leewards in the second round.
There task won’t get any easier when Round III begins tomorrow, as they taken on Trinidad and Tobago who have been playing some good cricket. That match will take place at Molineaux.
At Warner Park, there will be another crucial match when the Leeward Islands and Guyana aim to get their campaign back on track.
But all eyes will be on Conaree, when both teams on top of the table face off. The Windward Islands will look to extend their slim lead against Barbados who is eager to take back top spot. All matches get going (weather permitting) at 9:30AM Atlantic Standard Time.
WICB Under 15 Round III Schedule of Matches:
Barbados v Windward Islands – Conaree
Jamaica v Trinidad & Tobago – Molineaux
Guyana v Leeward Islands – Warner Park
Points Standing after Round II
Windward Islands - (24 Win + 10 Bowling) = 34
Barbados - (24 Win + 7.5 Bowling) = 31.5
Trinidad & Tobago - (10 + 6 Bowling) = 16
Leeward Islands - (9 + 7 Bowling) = 16
Guyana - (4 + 3.5 Bowling) = 7.5
Jamaica - (3 + 2.5 Bowling) = 5.5