Holder swings tense match for HPC
By Adriel Richard
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – An incisive spell from Jason Holder in the closing overs upstaged a gutsy half-century from Liam Sebastien to lead the Sagicor West Indies High Performance Centre to a tense, seven-run victory over Windward Islands in the Regional Super50 tournament on Sunday.
Holder scalped four wickets – all bowled – for 47 runs from 9.5 overs in defiance of Sebastien’s unbeaten 63 from 90 balls, as Windwards were dismissed for 227 in their Group-A match at the Everest Cricket Club, which was blessed with brilliant conditions.
The 19-year-old Holder, a lanky fast-medium bowler, formalised the result, when he bowled Nelon Pascal with the penultimate ball of the match to spark wild celebrations by the next generation of West Indies players.
The result meant that the HPC gained four points, moving to eight, holding on to second place in the group, and will advance to the semi-finals along with hosts Guyana, knocking co-defending champions Barbados and the hapless Windwards out of the competition.
“This is a very important victory for us because it is the first for us in this competition,” said HPC captain Shamarh Brooks.
“We came in to the tournament last year and we did not do very well, so this is a big plus for us going forward and I want to say ‘well done’ to the guys and hope that we do well in the semi-finals.”
Brooks helped to give his side the foundation for victory, when he stroked five fours and one six in 61 not out from 47 balls, and Nkrumah Bonner struck five fours and one six in the top score of 65 from 77 balls, leading the HPC to 234 for six from their allocation of 50 overs.
Windwards bowled their overs at such an impressive rate that there was about half-hour of play between the end of the HPC’s innings and the scheduled interval between innings, and this was enough time for Shannon Gabriel to give the next-gen a bright start.
The barrel-chested fast bowler had opener Johnson Charles caught at square leg for two in the second over, as Windwards reached the interval on 11 for one.
On resumption, the HPC came under pressure, when Devon Smith and Andre Fletcher, in particular, started to paste the bowling, adding 57 for the second wicket.
Gabriel conceded consecutive boundaries from the last four deliveries of his fifth over, when Fletcher sashayed down the pitch and drove him to long-on, crashed a short-ball through cover, swung another short delivery to long-on, and flicked the final delivery through square leg.
Leg-spinner Kerron Cottoy, a player very familiar to the Windwards, made the breakthrough, when Fletcher was caught at fly slip for 35 top-edging a cut in the 12th over.
The match still hung in the balance, but Cottoy and fellow leg-spinner Bonner gave the HPC control, when they shared the next three wickets for 16 runs in the space of 30 deliveries, leaving Windwards 114 for five in the 23rd over.
But the HPC again met resistance when Craig Emmanuel joined Sebastien and they showed immeasurable restraint to add 65 for the sixth wicket to give the Windwards a chance once more.
Holder however, shifted the balance of power again, when he bowled Emmanuel for 26 in the 41st over, leaving Windwards 179 for six before he conceded the single that carried Sebastien to his 50 from 77 balls.
The tension continued to mount, but the HPC failed to crack under the pressure with the Windwards needing 30 runs from the last 30 balls.
Gabriel had Dalton Polius caught behind for 17 driving loosely at a delivery outside the off-stump in the 47th over, and Holder came back at the death to wrap up the innings, shattering the stumps of Garey Mathurin, Denis George, and Nelon Pascal.
Earlier, Bonner and Brooks were at the heart of the HPC’s batting with their half-centuries that had class written all over them.
Bonner added 53 for the second wicket with hometown opener Rajendra Chandrika and gave the innings momentum over the first half before Brooks came in the latter stages to accelerate the scoring, adding 80 unbroken for the seventh wicket with another hometown boy Veerasammy Permaul.
Chandrika made 32 and Permaul supported with 35.
The tournament continues on Monday, when Trinidad & Tobago face Jamaica at this venue in a match that could ultimately decide the Group-B winner, and the embattled co-defending champions Leeward Islands meet Combined Campuses & Colleges at the Guyana National Stadium.
The semi-finals take place under lights on Wednesday and Thursday at the National Stadium, where the day/night Final will also be contested on Saturday.
SAGICOR WEST INDIES HIGH PERFORMANCE CENTRE (maximum 50 overs)
K. Corbin c wkpr Fletcher b Pascal 10
R. Chandrika run out 32
N. Bonner c wkpr Fletcher b Pascal 65
+S. Dowrich b Polius 2
D. Thomas c Mathurin b George 16
*S. Brooks not out 61
J. Holder c Charles b Mathurin 2
V. Permaul not out 35
Extras (b1, lb3, w5, nb2) 11
TOTAL (6 wkts, 50 overs) 234
K. Cottoy, S. Gabriel, B. Bess did not bat
Fall of wickets: 1-22, 2-75, 3-79, 4-112, 5-150, 6-154
Bowling: Pascal 10-2-38-1 (w3); Sebastien 12-0-50-0 (w1); George 10-0-62-2 (nb1); Mathurin 12-1-42-1 (nb1); Polius 6-1-38-1 (w1)
WINDWARD ISLANDS (target: 235 off 50 overs)
D.S. Smith c Permaul b Bonner 39
J. Charles c Permaul b Gabriel 0
+A. Fletcher c *Brooks b Cottoy 35
K. Lesporis lbw b Cottoy 18
L. Sebastien not out 63
H. Shallow c *Brooks b Bonner 8
C. Emmanuel b Holder 26
D. Polius c wkpr Dowrich b Gabriel 17
G. Mathurin b Holder 1
D. George b Holder 7
N. Pascal b Holder 0
Extras (lb3, w6, nb4) 13
TOTAL (all out, 49.5 overs) 227
Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-59, 3-98, 4-100, 5-114, 6-179, 7-212, 8-215, 9-227
Bowling: Permaul 11-3-42-0 (w2); Gabriel 8-1-52-2 (w1); Holder 9.5-0-47-4 (w1); Cottoy 12-1-53-2 (nb4, w1); Bonner 9-0-30-2
Result: HPC won by seven runs (one ball remaining)
Points: HPC 4, Windwards 0
Man-of-the-Match: J. Holder (HPC)
Umpires: G. Brathwaite, N. Duguid
Match referee: R. King
Reserve umpire: S. Crawford