PREVIEW: WICB Under 15 Round IV
BASSETERRE, ST KITTS – Barbados stand one round away from potentially becoming Caribbean Under 15 champions and keeping up their unbeaten run in Round III.
As the West Indies Cricket Board’s Under 15 Tournament moves into Round IV on Friday, Trinidad and Tobago and the Windward Islands will be hoping the Leewards can take some points of the league-leaders.
The Windwards failed to do so when they took on the Bajans in Round III at Conaree. Leniko Boucher faced 130 balls and struck 12 boundaries in his innings of 106 that enabled Barbados to defeat the Windwards by 73 runs. In the top of the table clash, the Windwards succumbed to their first defeat of the tournament while Barbados remains unbeaten.
Barbados will aim to topple the Leeward Islands in Round IV, when both teams face off at Warner Park. In the last round of matches, the Leewards piled more pressure on Guyana when they defeated their opponents by five wickets.
Mrinal Wadhwa put in a man-of-the-match performance taking 7-26 to restrict Guyana. In chasing 123 runs to win the match, Ras Powell scored 58 as the Leewards won. If the Leewards are to make a last-dash effort to leapfrog Barbados, they will certainly need such a performance.
In the penultimate round of matches, the Windwards will take on Jamaica at Molineaux. The defending champions have struggled in this year’s tournament, and sit at the bottom of the table on 7.5 points.
The best they’ve earned so far was three points for a draw in Round II against the Leewards while they’ve earned 3.5 bowling points. It is too late for them to start competing for first spot but they will look to end the tournament on a high.
In the other half of the table, the Windwards are fighting to keep within distance of leaders Barbados. Currently in second place, the Windwards were going along strongly in the tournament until they fell to their first defeat against Barbados.
In the top of the table clash in Round III, the Windwards battled hard for a draw but the Bajan bowlers ensured their team got maximum points out of the game. The Windwards will be hoping the Leewards can come up with a big performance against the Jamaicans, or they could find themselves regretting their third round clash.
Another team fighting for the top spot is Trinidad and Tobago, and they will take on Guyana at Conaree in the fourth round of matches. Guyana are just above Jamaica on the table in 5th spot, courtesy four points from a first innings victory and five points from wickets taken.
T&T on the other hand sit in 4th spot, just one point off the Leeward Islands. However, they remain 16.5 points off Barbados. They will need a thumping victory along with some bonus points if they are to go into the final round of matches, against the leaders, with a shot at winning the title.
Like the Windwards and the Leewards though, T&T will have to hope the latter can take points off Barbados.
Point standing after Round III of WICB Under 15:
Barbados (36 + 11 Bonus) = 47
Windward Islands (28 + 12.5 Bonus) = 40.5
Leeward Islands (21 + 10.5 Bonus) = 31.5
Trinidad & Tobago (22 + 8.5 Bonus) = 30.5
Guyana (4 + 5 Bonus) = 9
Jamaica (3 + 4.5 Bonus) = 7.5
Round IV Fixtures of WICB Under 15:
Barbados vs Leeward Islands - Warner Park
Guyana vs Trinidad & Tobago - Conaree
Jamaica vs Windward Islands - Molineaux