Sebastien happy with Windwards rebound
KINGSTOWN, ST VINCENT - The Windward Islands rebounded in emphatic style against Guyana after their shocking defeat to Trinidad & Tobago last Thursday.
At 111/2, it appeared the Guyanese were on course for a big total in their round three, Regional Super50 match against the Windwards, but the hosts forced a collapse to restrict their opponents in the second half of the first innings.
The collapse was no where near that of the T&T enforced on them three days earlier, but it was enough to restrict Guyana to a below par 198/8 from their 50 overs.
It then allowed the Windwards batsmen to nail home the advantage and secure their second win in the Regional Super50 tournament.
After their shock defeat against T&T, what was said in the Windward Islands dressing room remains locked at Arnos Vale, but one thing is for sure, whatever was said, had a quite great effect on the team.
The results and the change of attitudes were almost immediately recognisable. Not least, Lindon James' exclusion after his first ball attempt to clear Justin Guillen at long-off in Windwards' round two defeat. Delorn Johnson was left out of the Starting XI because of a little niggle he sustained but should be fit for the start of Wednesday's 4-Day fixture.
But even the embarrassing defeat to T&T can't wipe off the glitters of the great work Head Coach Ian Allen and his management team have been doing with the Windward Islands.
After the the first two rounds of matches, the Windwards were silently being regarded as a one-man team. The old naive questions of 'what would they do without Devon Smith?', much like 'where Manchester United be without Robin van Persie?' But Andre Fletches has since show form, and Keddy Lesporis came good for the Windwards against Guyana, finally showing some form.
As Team Manager, Lockhart Sebastien, put it, "We really should have been three games up by now, but as they say, good teams need to come back and that's what we did, we came back, and we're right up there."
In the midst of Smith's third century this year though, it was a big relief for the Windwards' management that Lesporis if not found form, got close to it. He's been struggling since the start of the year and dug in against Guyana at a time when a collapse could have been imminent.
Together with Smith, they took the Windwards from the early losses of Tyrone Theohpile and Andre Fletcher, from 56/2 to within 40 runs of victory in 159/3. This pleased Sebastien; "Keddy hasn't done well at all. He's been struggling. He had a good innings today. Good shots. We just need him to keep digging in and keep carrying on."
But a Windwards performance of such dominance and discipline was in total contrast to their batting, and at times, bowling against the 'Trinis' three days before. Manager Sebastien pointed out Smith as the difference, but not the total difference. He explained, "I don't think you want to hear what was said in the dressing room after T&T's game, but I can assure you some strong words were used. What we did different today was that Smith got in, and he did not get out. Once he was in, we let him know that he needed to bring home the victory, and he did."
Delorn Johnson is expected to take his place in the eleven on Wednesday in the 4-Day game but James' spot is still in doubt, and it's not a difficult decision for the management to make seeing Andre Fletcher is by trade, a wicket-keeper.