Johnson leads Windward Islands to two-day over Leeward Islands

BRIDGEFIELD, Barbados (CMC) – An impressive all-round display from Delorn Johnson was the highlight, as Windward Islands completed an innings and 58-run victory over Leeward Islands in the TCL Group West Indies Under-19 Challenge on Friday.

Johnson, a 6-ft 6-in tall left-hander from St. Vincent, crashed a brilliant half-century and then grabbed two wickets in nine balls, as Windward Islands, leading by 156 from the first innings, dismissed the Leeward Islands for a mere 78 in their second innings in the final period on the second day of their fifth and final round match at the Melrose Sports Club.

There was also clever leadership and great catching by Kerron Cottoy. He held one at gully off Johnson, a member of the Young West Indies team to this year’s ICC Youth World Cup, and then moved himself to short extra cover where he snatched a savage drive from the bat of Kjel Tyson to give reliable seamer Oscar George his second wicket.

Cottoy ended the most successful bowler with three wickets for 18 runs from 11 overs to end the Championship with 38 wickets in five matches, while off-spinner Dalton Polius had three for 34 from 11.1 to expose the batting weaknesses of the Leeward Islands.

After the match, Windward Islands coach Raymond Duncan lauded his players for their outstanding showing.

“We were looking for a victory, but we never had it in the plans for Friday,” he said. “We were looking to set-up a win on Friday and go in for the kill on Saturday. But this was a remarkable effort by the team and I am especially pleased with the batsmen.

“The bowlers have been doing their job very well throughout the entire tournament and the batsmen came very well in this match. We played well in all three departments – batting, bowling and especially fielding, and I am very happy with the way the boys showed their skills.”

Earlier in the day, Windward Islands made their best total of 331 to get a first innings lead of 156. Johnson came to the crease at 255 for seven and lashed 50 exact with three fours and a six off just 69 balls.

He gave the innings a huge boost at the end after Dennis Louis was dismissed for 90 and Kaveen Hodge fell for 47, after they had carried their second wicket stand to 112.

The best bowler for the Leeward Islands was off-spinner Tevin Osbourne with six for 68 from 38.1 overs – his third five-wicket haul of the tournament, which took his tally to 30 wickets.

The win was the second victory in the tournament for the Windward Islands and moved them to 28 points on the table, while the Leeward Islands were left in the cellar position on 19 points.

The two teams now switch their attention to the TCL Group limited overs tournament, which starts on Tuesday.

Windward Islands face hosts Barbados at Queen’s Park in the Barbados capital of Bridgetown, and Leeward Islands face Guyana at the MTW Sports Club in Pinelands about four kilometres east of the city.