Jamaicans and Trinis win on opening day of Women's League

Kingstown, St Vincent: Defending champions Trinidad and Tobago got off to a winning start as they defeated Guyana by 41 runs on the opening day of the West Indies Cricket Board’s Women’s 50-Over League on Thursday. Led by captain Anisa Mohammed and leading batter Stacy-Ann King, the Trinis had to dig deep at various stages in the match, but eventually won easily at Victoria Park.

The left-handed King, who is a member of the West Indies team and has also played semi-pro cricket in Australia, batted well to topscore with 37, while last year’s MVP Britney Cooper contributed 18 as Trinidad and Tobago made 152. For Guyana the best bowlers were Subrina Munroe (3-19) and Tremaine Smartt (3-20). Guyana’s batters were then exposed against the strong bowling attack with Mohammed, the world-rated off-spinner taking 3-15, while seamer Gaitri Seetahal had 3-23.

At Arnos Vale Playing Field 1, Jamaica, last year’s second-placed side, strolled 100-2 off 29 overs after dismissing Barbados for 99 off 46 overs to secure four points. It was an easier than expected result for the Jamaicans as their opponents failed to perform on a good pitch. The early damage was done by Jamaica’s fast bowler Karla Cohen, who took 2-15, while there were four run outs.

Stafanie Taylor, Jamaica’s captain won the Player-of-the-Match award for a stroke-filled 62 not out. After the match she was delighted with her team’s performance especially the fact that they were solid in all three departments.

“This was a good allround game. We bowled well from start to finish and the fielding was exceptional. We had four run outs and on any day that’s a great fielding effort. I really want to congratulate the girls for the way they went about their work. Early in the Barbados innings we got a great start from Karla. She set the tone for us with a good spell. She has been struggling with a bit of an injury but she fought for the team and that was very good to see,” said the 19-year-old Taylor.

At Arnos Vale Playing Field 1, home side St Vincent and the Grenadines had an easy 48-run win against Grenada who fell for 78 off 42.1 overs in reply to 126. Afy Fletcher, the Grenada leg-spinner and captain, had the day’s best figures of 4-30, but her work was in vain as her batters never came to grips with the Vincentian bowling. The best were slow bowler Terisha Lavia with 3-9 and fast-medium bowler Melissa Bellingy with 2-12.

Cordell Jack, the Vincentian captain, topscored with 60 off 88 balls. She and opening partner Samantha Lynch added 94 for the first wicket before Fletcher intervened. “We are happy that we played well to win the game but we have some areas we need to get better at if we are to challenge for the title. We would like to win the tournament at home, but our batting needs to improve. Today Afy bowled very well and put us under some. We tried to attack her and that backfired. As captain, I knew I had to give the team a good start at the top and I was glad I played well. I was happy to see the bowlers did such a very good job in the end for us,” Jack said.

Over at Stubbs, St Lucia got over Dominica by 12 runs in the day’s closest match. St Lucia batted first and made 118 and then dismissed the Dominicans for 106. Veteran spinner Varena Felicien had the amazing figures of two wickets for eight runs from her 10 overs, while skipper Phillipa Eudovic (2-26) and Naralie Cooper (2-23) also bowled well.

The tournament continues on Friday with matches in both zones. In Zone A: Jamaica v St Lucia at Sion Hill and Barbados v Dominica at Arnos Vale 2. In Zone B: Trinidad and Tobago v St Vincent and the Grenadines at Arnos Vale 1 and Guyana v Grenada at Stubbs