Windward Islands v. Guyana: TCL Group West Indies Under 19 Challenge

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – The Windward Islands enjoy a two-run first innings lead over defending champions Guyana at the end of the first day of their TCL Group West Indies Under-19 second-round match at Combermere School on Wednesday.

The Windward Islanders reached 120 for three by the close after 18-year-old Vincentian leg-spinner Kerron Cottoy and 17-year-old St Lucian off-spinner Dalton Polius had combined to wreck the Guyana innings for 118 on a good batting track.

Cottoy grabbed his third five-wicket haul at this level, compelling figures of five for nine off 14.3 overs with nine maidens.

Polius, who took five for 63 against Barbados in the first round, supported with four for 48 as only opener Trevon Griffith (30) and tail-ender Herman Latcha, with an unbeaten 20, offered resistance for the Guyanese.

Wayne Harper (27) and Denis Smith (32) then gave the Windward Islands a solid 67-run opening stand before three wickets tumbled for four runs as left-arm unorthodox spinner Totaram Bishun 2 for 59, tried to engineer a late afternoon Guyana fight-back.

Asked to bat on a track with preparation moisture in sultry conditions, Guyana slipped to 23 for one as vice-captain Royan Fredericks’ poor run of form continued.

After hitting two boundaries in 15 from 12 balls, Fredericks, applying ultra aggressive tactics, drove pacer Vincent Lewis to mid-on as the Windward Islands, hunting their second title at this level, struck 13 minutes into the day’s play.

A small crowd of mostly children watched as the left-handed pair of Griffith and Jeetendra Sookdeo added 27 before Polius, who had five wickets against Guyana last year in St Kitts, had Sookdeo (15) stumped by Dennis Smith, (the nephew of Test opener Devon Smith) at 50 for two.

Just when he seemed set for a big score, Griffith, who hit three fours in 30 from 86 balls and 112 minutes, pushed Polius to the cover fielder at 76 for three.

Seon Hetmyer, who was dropped at mid-off before he scored off Polius, pushed forward and was caught at slip off Cottoy for 12, eight minutes before lunch, as Guyana slipped to 81 for four.

Skipper Eugene La Fleur and Foo were the not out batsmen at the interval and after the break La Fleur was bowled by Cottoy for a duck as Guyana slid to 85 for five.

Foo (10) played a reckless slog-sweep at Cottoy and skied a catch to mid-off and Guyana dipped into further trouble at 92 for six.

Polius, in his fourth year at this level, also removed Anthony Bramble (5) and Cottoy had Kevon Joseph (3) stumped at 103 for eight.

Bishun was bowled by Polius for a duck at 105 for nine and Cottoy, who took five-wicket hauls against Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago in Guyana in 2006 but was dropped last year, had Leon Scott (0) caught at silly mid-off to finish off the innings 70 minutes into the second session.

Latcha was left unbeaten on 20 from 51 balls with two fours.

Harper and Smith saw the Windward Islands, who were involved in a sensational tie when the two teams met in last year’s one-day tournament, to 16 without loss by tea.

Guyana turned to their spinners after five overs but Smith in particular was severe on anything loose, pulling Bishun for consecutive fours and then lofting him for another boundary over mid-off as the Windwards reached 50 in 62 minutes.

Guyana struck twice with the score on 67.

Harper chased a wide ball and edged a catch to slip off Bishun after hitting four fours and La Fleur removed Smith, who made his 32 from 83 balls with five fours.

It was soon 71 for three when Kavem Hodge (4) was sent packing by Bishun but Junior Javier (24) and Polius (24) saw their team safely to stumps and first innings honours.