Windwards win Super50 opening thriller
GROS ISLET, SAINT LUCIA - The students returned to Gros Islet on Thursday with recently good memories at this ground.
It was right at the Beausejour Cricket Ground only a month ago in the Caribbean Twenty20 that the Combined Campuses & Colleges took some of Caribbean cricket's big names to the wire. But it was also here that a lethargic performance saw the Leeward Islands beat them in the same competition.
A new competition however, gave both the students and the Windward Islands the chance to regroup, and start afreash. The hosts won the toss and elected to field first. From Nelon Pascal's first ball, that was collected by wicket-keeper Lyndon James at hip height, already you could see there was something for the bowlers. But it wasn't exactly a Perth pitch the students were batting on. Almost as good as the carry was, was as good as the ball came on to the bat.
Chadwick Walton showed this early on. His aggressive nature leaked over from the CT20 to the Super50. He began in his usual attacking manner, playing what is quickly becoming his trademark shot; going aerial, straight down the ground. He's as pretty as an international player when he executes the shot perfectly. His positive start helped CCC starve off the Windwards early on. In fact, for the best part of the first two overs, his opening partner, Shacaya Thomas, played a spectator at the non-striker's end. When Thomas did get to face, he was caught behind for a second ball duck.
Nicholas Alexis joined Walton. It would perhaps be unfair to say though that both him and Walton put on 46 runs for the second wicket. Walton was on fire, smashing balls to every end of the ground. He was a man in a hurry, as always. Alexis went caught behind to Delorn Johnson when the score was on 62, but the sprinkle of spectators in the Soufiere Stand was focused on Walton the entertainer. He quickly got to his half-century that included 10 fours. Upon getting to 56 though, Walton tried to go over mid-on, but mis-timed Pascal's delivery and was caught easily by Liam Sebastien to leave the CCC 77/3. Up until then, Pascal's day was a disaster. He was expensive, bowling short and wide, straying ever so often. But that wicket changed his entire mindset. Suddenly, he was beating the bat, running in harder, and hitting a consistent line and length.
The wicket of Walton was supposed to change things as well. For one, the run rate was supposed to take a significant dip. But out came Raymon Reifer, another young star from the Caribbean T20 2013. He was less aggressive than Walton, but he could put away the bad ball, and that he did do. At the other end, the CCC skipper, Kyle Corbin, struggled to put an inning together. His answer to a series of dot balls was to take quick singles. It worked for a short while until he chose to take a quick single to Garey Mathurin. The latter picked up perfectly, threw flat and fast to James, who completed a close but convincing run out. The student were now 78/4.
Nekoli Parris offered some resistance but at the same of his arrival, Shane Shillingford was brought into attack. Along with his captain, the spinner dried up the runs. Reifer, after getting to 60, was run out. From there, it was the Shillingford show. He finished with figures of 10-1-39-4, basically wrapping up the innings, if not stifling the batsmen of scoring. The CCC did complete their 50 overs but Derone Davis was caught of the last ball of the innings as CCC ended on 207 all out.
For a short time, including the 40 minute dinner break, the students looked like they were at least 40 runs short off a competitive score. This was contradicted by Miles Bascombe's early wicket, when Windwards had just three runs on the board. But the grand celebrations we came to see from the Caribbean T20 of the CCC didn't last long. Andre Fletcher joined opener, Devon Smith, and the two very experienced batsmen started the counter-attack. Both, batting responsibly and slowly took the game away from the students. Together, they put on 109 runs for the second wicket. Smith struck five fours and a six in his knock of 54. He was caught going for another big shot.
Thereon, the Windwards fell away. Keddy Lesporis came in but struggled to settle in. After putting on 23 runs with Fletcher, he was caught trying to break loose. Windwards were now 135/3. Eight runs later, Fletcher was caught behind trying to cut a ball too close. His knock of 67, which included five fours and two sixes, came to an end at a bad time for the Windwards. Suddenly, the Windwards were 143/4.
For the CCC, it was an opportunity to make their opponents panic. Ten runs later, Lyndon James opted for what most thought was a poor shot, trying to clear Ryan Austin in the deep. He went for seven. Shillingford played his shots, occasionally. When he connected, the ball went for four. However, most of his deliveries were dot balls. In the matter of another ten runs, on 153, Garey Mathurin was trapped leg before playing back to a ball from Akeem Dewar he should have been forward to. The home side were now six down, and could what looked impossible become reality?
By this time, Beausejour Cricket Ground was tense... at least that was the expression on the few faces in the stands. Captain Liam Sebastien, who held himself back after what looked like an injury scare was forced to come out. Slowly, he and Shillingford batted with the calm head the situation required. At least, that's how they started. After putting on 22 runs, Sebastien took off for a quick single that Shillingford didn't respond to. He was run out at the start of Davis' over. The next ball, Shillingford was yorked and bowled. The 43rd over culminated with the wicket of Akeem Dewar. At the start of it, the Windwards were 185/6. At the end of it, they were 186/9. It was on the same ground he had taken four wickets in the CT20, just different ends.
Delorn Johnson and Nelon Pascal were the last pair, requiring to get 22 to save their team from an embarrassing defeat. Slowly, they chipped away at the deficit. There were major scares of near catching chances, lour leg before appeals, and the all too familiar run out chances. In the end, they got home, just. Johnson finished off the game with a massive six with three runs left to get. He finished on 13* while Pascal was unbeaten on seven.
The Windwards eventually won their opening game by one wicket.
+C Walton c Sebastien b Pascal 56
S Thomas c wkp James b Johnson 0
N Alexis c wkp James b Pascal 6
*K Corbin run out 11
R Reifer run out 60
N Parris c Smith b Shillingford 32
F Reifer c Johnson b Shillingford 10
A Dewar c Smith b Shillingford 0
K McClean c Fletcher b Shillingford 1
D Davis c Peters b Johnson 18
R Austin not out 1
Extras (b2, lb2, w6, nb2) 12
TOTAL (all out, 50 overs) 207
Fall of wickets: 1-16, 2-62, 3-77, 4-78, 5-137, 6-164, 7-165, 8-171, 9-206, 10-207
Bowling: Pascal 8-1-40-2, Johnson 7-0-24-2, Peters 5-1-29-0, Mathurin 5-1-46-0, Sebastien 10-1-25-0, Shillingford 10-1-39-4
D Smith c McClean b R Reifer 54
M Bascombe c Thomas b McClean 2
A Fletcher c wkp Walton b Dewar 67
K Lesporis c Corbin b McClean 10
+L James c Austin b Dewar 7
G Mathurin lbw b Dewar 1
S Shillingford b Davis 21
*L Sebastien run out R Reifer 10
D Johnson not out 13
K Peters lbw b Davis 0
N Pascal not out 7
Extras (lb5, w11, nb3) 19
TOTAL (9 wkts, 46.4 overs) 211
Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-112, 3-135, 4-143, 5-153, 6-163, 7-185, 8-186, 9-186.
Bowling: McClean 9-0-42-2, Parris 5-1-22-0, Davis 9.4-0-42-2, Austin 3-0-31-0, R Reifer 10-0-46-1, Dewar 10-0-23-3.
Result: Windwards won by one wicket.
Points: Windwards 4, CCC 0.
Umpires: Nigel Duguid, Zahid Bassarath.