Williams cracks 114 as Leewards fight

Gros Islet, St Lucia – A maiden century from Gavin Williams led the Leeward Islands back from the doldrums against Windward Islands in the WICB First-class championship on Sunday.

Williams made a resolute 114 that anchored Leewards to 284-7 in their second innings – a lead of 38 – at the close on the third day of their seventh round match at the Beausejour Cricket Ground.

The 26-year-old Antiguan struck 18 boundaries from 193 balls in close to 3 ¾ hours of batting to lead the fight back and make sure the Windwards will have to bat a second time.

Jacques Taylor supported with 48 not out, Jahmar Hamilton made 45, and Gavin Tonge was not out on 41 not out to help beef-up the Leewards’ total.

Windwards had declared their first innings on 318-9 before lunch. Pacer Tonge (3-72) finished as the most successful bowler, Sherwin Peters bagged 2-37 and captain Lionel Baker grabbed 2-77.

Leewards, facing a large lead of 246 to avoid the follow-on seemed liked they were desperate to crash to their fifth loss of the season inside three days, when they slumped to 15-3. Sherwin Peters was caught at first slip for one off left-arm seamer Kenroy Peters; Juari Edwards was caught behind for 10 off Nelon Pascal, who also trapped Morland Le Blanc lbw for two.

But Williams found Hamilton a reliable partner, and they revived the innings with a stand of 121 for the fourth wicket.  Hamilton however lost the plot and was out when he tried to launch part-time leg spinner Andre Fletcher over mid-wicket only to sky a ball to keeper Lyndon James.

Leewards then lost Jason Peters caught at slip for five off left-arm spinner Gary Mathurin before Williams reached his milestone.

The visitors were 173-5 at tea, and Mathurin trapped Williams lbw in the first half-hour after the break, when the batsmen attempted a sweep. Fletcher also had Justin Athanaze caught at deep mid-wicket for five swinging lustily before Tonge joined Taylor and the batted through until the close to add a crucial, unbeaten 61 for the eighth wicket.

Windwards had a major lapse in the field close to the end of the day, when James failed to hold on to a diving catch offered by Taylor when 41 off Johnson Charles.

Leewards 1st innings 72
Windwards 1st innings
(overnight 285-6)
J. Charles lbw b Baker 28
A. Browne c Athanaze b Martin 7
A. Fletcher c Athanaze b S. Peters 70
K. Lesporis c J. Peters b S. Peters 86
L. Sebastien c Martin b Tonge 38
K. James b Tonge 17
L. James lbw b Baker 26
G. Mathurin run out 14
M. Matthew c S. Peters b Tonge 17
K. Peters not out 2
N Pascal did not bat –
Extras (b1, lb1, w1, nb10) 13
TOTAL (9 wkts dec., 92.2 overs) 318
Fall of wickets: 1-25, 2-41, 3-196, 4-198, 5-245, 6-276, 7-288, 8-308, 9-318
Bowling: Baker 19-3-77-2 (nb2); Tonge 19.2-4-72-3 (nb1); Martin 21-4-45-1; Athanaze 11-2-33-0; Taylor 10-0-52-0 (nb1); S. Peters 12-1-37-2 (nb6, w1)
Leewards 2nd innings
S. Peters c Fletcher b Peters 1
J. Edwards c wk James b Pascal 10
G. Williams lbw b Mathurin 114
M. Le Blanc lbw b Pascal 2
J. Hamilton c wk James b Fletcher 45
J. Peters c Lesporis b Mathurin 5
J. Taylor not out 48
J. Athanaze c Mathurin b Fletcher 5
G. Tonge not out 41
Extras (b6, lb5, w1, nb1) 13
TOTAL (7 wkts, 90 overs) 284
Fall of wickets:1-11,  2-11, 3-15, 4-136, 5-168, 6-193, 7-223
Bowling:Pascal 15-5-43-2 (nb1); Peters 15-5-33-1; K. James 5-0-30-0; Sebastien 17-2-52-0; Mathurin 29-6-68-2; Fletcher 5-0-32-2; Charles 4-0-15-0 (w1)
Umpires:Goaland Greaves, Vivian Johnson