Third win takes Windwards top

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – A tidy all-round performance from Shane Shillingford helped Windward Islands virtually sew up a semi-final place in the Caribbean Twenty20 tournament with a 22-run victory over Leeward Islands on Tuesday.

Shillingford scored 21 from 10 balls in a late charge, as the Windwards, choosing to bat, were dismissed for 157 in 19.5 overs in their Group-A match at Kensington Oval.

He then captured four wickets for 29 runs from his allotted four overs with his off-spin to earn the Man-of-the-Match award, helping Windwards successfully defend their total and claim their third victory of the tournament.

The result meant that the Windwards maintained first place in the group with a maximum 12 points and Leewards were condemned to finish the tournament on four points with a single win and three losses.

Windwards appeared to be under pressure, when Leewards openers Kieran Powell and Austin Richards Jr put on 45 for the first wicket inside the Power Play overs.

Windwards and West Indies captain Darren Sammy had Powell caught at deep mid-wicket for the Leewards top score of 30 and brief cameos were the order of the day the rest of the way.

Richards supported with a workmanlike 27 from 36 balls and Chesney Hughes made 23 from 13 balls, but the remainder of the Leewards batting lacked substance, as Shillingford ripped out the heart of their batting.

He started when he had Hughes stumped in the 12th over, charging down, swinging and missing a well-flighted delivery and followed up with Richards caught at extra cover in his next over.

The West Indies off-spinner had Devon Thomas caught at mid-wicket for 17 in the 16th over and Larry Joseph caught at long-on for a duck in his final over, the 18th of the innings with the battle almost complete.

Earlier, Windwards too, roared early, when openers Johnson Charles and Miles Bascombe belted 42 between them from the first three overs.

Windwards too, never quite got a stable partnership going during the remainder of the innings, after Gavin Tonge separated them, finishing with three for 27 from four overs.

Charles was bowled for 20 in the third over stepping away to drive Tonge, who also bowled Andre Fletcher off the inside edge for a duck in the fifth over, when he also had Bascombe caught at mid-off for 20.

Keddy Lesporis put on 36 for the fourth wicket with Devon Smith before he was caught behind off Justin Athanaze, becoming the first of three scalps for a miserly 12 runs in four overs for the off-spin.

Devon Smith also fell to the off-spinner, when he was bowled for the top score of 31 in the 15th over and so too, Liam Sebastien for three, leaving the Windwards 117 for seven in the 17th over.

Sammy and Shillingford pushed Windwards closer to the 150-run threshold with their lusty strokes, but the West Indies captain was one of three wickets that fell for nine runs inside the last two overs.

Windwards face Guyana in their final group match on Thursday here, when it would ultimately be decided if either of the two advance to the Final Four.

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 03:41