Regional Super50 cricket…Jamaica hammer sub standard Leewards
Jamaica lost three wickets in three overs after lunch but easily reached 101-3 off 15.4 overs replying to the 97 all
out in 35 overs made by a sub-standard Leewards in their opening zone ‘B’ regional Super50 cricket match at Providence yesterday.
Only Justin Athanaze who hit three sixes in his 23 and Munchin Hodge who struck two fours in 17 passed 15 in a disappointing batting display for the Leewards who had not won a Regional 50-over title since 1997 before they tied with Barbados in last year’s final in Barbados.
New Skipper Javier Liburd (11) and Austin Richards (9) added 12 for the first wicket when play eventually began 90 minutes late and the overs were reduced to 45 per side due to morning rain before Krishmar Santokie removed Richards and Chesney Hughes (0) in two balls.
Left-arm spinner Nikita Miller then sent back Liburd at 28-3 and when leg-spinner Odean Browne dismissed Jason Peters (7) and Hodge in the space of three and Shawn Findlay bowled Jahmar Hamilton (1) a run later, the Leewards, who lost both of their practice matches in Guyana to the Windwards, were on their knees at 49-6.
They never recovered despite some aggression from Athanaze who was eventually caught at cover by Skipper Chris Gayle off Santokie and Gavin Tonge (10) who offered some fight.
Santokie had 3-30 while Miller took 2-22 and Browne 2-21 for Jamaica, hunting their sixth title and first since 2007 in Barbados.
By Lunch debutant Kennar Lewis was on 28 and Gayle on 22 and victory 43 runs away.
However, after the interval Gayle (24) was bowled behind his back sweeping at Athanaze at 57-1, while Lewis was leg before to off-spinner Jacques Taylor in the next over without addition to the score.
Findlay (1) was then leg before to Athanaze three runs later before Xavier Marshall (18) and former Captain Tamar Lambert (24), who ended the match with two sixes and a four off Taylor, saw Jamaica to an emphatic victory.
The action continues today with Guyana facing HPC at Providence and Barbados battling the Windwards at Everest in zone ‘A’ matches from 09:00hrs. (Sean Devers)