Windwards dominate Leewards
Gros Islet, St Lucia – Half-centuries from Keddy Lesporis and Andre Fletcher powered Windward Islands into a commanding position against Leeward Islands in their final round WICB First-Class Championship match, on Saturday.
Lesporis stroked 86 and Fletcher got 70, to propel the hosts to 285-6 at the close on the second day at the Beausejour Cricket Ground. The Windwards had earlier routed the Leewards for 72 after the visitors resumed the day on 62-5, and now hold a healthy lead of 212 runs with two days left.
Their strong position was due to a magnificent 155-run, third wicket partnership between Lesporis and Fletcher. Lesporis, the adventurous right-handed St Lucian, struck eight fours and faced 139 balls in 157 minutes while Fletcher counted six fours and a six off 167 balls in 185 minutes.
The Windwards lost the left-handed opener Atticus Browne cheaply for seven at 25-1, caught by Justin Athanaze at first slip pushing at the final ball of the first over bowled by leg-spinner Anthony Martin.
His opening partner Johnson Charles was trapped leg before to seamer Lionel Baker for 28 at 41-2, paving the way for Lesporis and Fletcher to dominate the Leewards bowling. Fast bowler Gavin Tonge finished the day with 2-61 while Sherwin Peters ended with 2-37.
Earlier, the Leewards continued to bat poorly, losing their last five wickets for nine runs. Left arm seamer Kenroy Peters finished with 4-19 while fast bowler Nelon Pascal grabbed 3-14. The day started disastrously for the Leewards with Pascal sending back overnight batsman Jacques Taylor without adding to his overnight nine and Athanaze without scoring, to leave the total on 63-7.
Pascal also accounted for Tonge caught by Kevin James for five and Kenroy Peters had Baker caught by Charles at first slip, driving at the first ball he faced. Kenroy Peters ended the innings by bowling Martin for two.
Leewards 1st innings
S Peters c Lesporis b Peters 15
J Edwards b Matthew 0
G Williams c Lesporis b Peters 8
M Le Blanc c Peters b Sebastien 11
+ J Hamilton c Pascal b Mathurin 9
J Peters not out 9
J Taylor c wk L James b Pascal 9
J Athanaze c Peters b Pascal 0
G Tonge c K James b Pascal 5
*L Baker c Charles b Peters 0
A. Martin b Peters 2
Extras (b1, lb2, w1) 4
TOTAL (all out, 41.4 overs) 72
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-19, 3-26, 4-44, 5-46, 6-63, 7-63, 8-69, 9-69, 10-72.
Bowling: Pascal 8 -3-14-3, Matthew 1-1-0-1, K. Peters 12.4-3-19-4, K James 7-2-18-0, Mathurin 7-1-9-1, Sebastien 5-2-7-1, Fletcher 1-0-2-0.
Windwards 1st innings
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 not out 26
G Mathurin not out 1
Extras (b1, lb1, w1, nb9) 12
TOTAL (6 wkts, 87 overs) 285
Fall of wickets: 1-25, 2-41, 3-196, 4-198, 5-245, 6-276.
Bowling: Baker 16-3-55-1, Tonge 17-4-61-2, Martin 21-4-45-1, Athanaze 11-2-33-0, Taylor 10-0-52-0, S. Peters 12-1-37-2.
Umpires: Goaland Greaves, Vivian Johnson.