Jamaica beat Windwards to reach Caribbean Twenty20 final
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Tidy bowling followed by steady batting moved Jamaica one step closer to a rare regional triple of titles, when they conquered Windward Islands by five wickets on Saturday to reach the Grand Final of the Caribbean Twenty20 tournament.
Jamaica bowled purposefully, if not menacingly, but the Windwards self-destructed with careless batting and were restricted to 98 for eight from their allocation of 20 overs in the low-scoring first semi-final at Kensington Oval.
Lindon James, playing for the first time in the tournament, laboured over the Windwards’ top score of 37 not out and Johnson Charles made 29.
Leg-spinner Odean Brown earned the Man-of-the-Match for his two wickets for 15 runs from his allotted four overs which strangled the Windwards’ middle order.
Left-arm pacers Krishmar Santokie and Sheldon Cotterrell collected two wickets apiece.
No Jamaica batsman distinguished themselves, but their captain Dave Bernard Jr scored a valuable 22 that brought back stability, after they wobbled on 38 for three in the eighth over.
In the Grand Final late today, the Jamaicans face the winner of the second semi-final yesterday between hosts Barbados and their bitter arch-rivals Trinidad & Tobago.
The Windwards have to settle for the Consolation Final, where they will meet the loser between the Barbadians and the Trinbagonians to play for third and fourth place.
Jamaica got a measured, if not flying start from openers Nkrumah Bonner and Danza Hyatt when they began the chase.
A pull for four through backward square leg off left-arm spinner Garey Mathurin got Hyatt off the mark before Bonner got into gear with an upper cut to third man and a hook – both for four – in an expensive first over from Nelon Pascal.
The two openers put on 33 before they were dismissed five balls apart. Hyatt was run out for 14, when he failed to beat Delorn Johnson’s throw to the ‘keeper going for a single, and Bonner was adjudged lbw for 19 playing back and across a well-pitched delivery.
The Jamaica got into further difficulty, when left-hander Shawn Findlay was caught behind edging a loose drive off Shane Shillingford’s off-spin leaving Jamaica 36 for three in the eighth over.
Bernard arrived and put his side back on track, hitting a six over long-on off Sebastien’s off-spin and the same bowler over mid-wicket for another six two overs later. Marlon Samuels was fortunate on 12, when Garey Mathurin dropped him at short third man off Sebastien.
Bernard found him a steady ally and they added 41 before the Jamaica captain was lbw playing back and across to the same bowler in the 15th over. Samuels was caught behind for 16 off Windwards and West Indies captain Darren Sammy in the 16th over, leaving Carlton Baugh Jr and Andre Russell to usher the side over the finish line.
Earlier, Jamaica got a fortuitous breakthrough in the third over, when Miles Bascombe was run out for a six-ball duck, forced to take a single when fellow opener Johnson Charles hared down on him. An unplayable in-swinging yorker from Santokie bowled Andre Fletcher for a duck three deliveries later to leave Windwards 12 for two.
Jamaica met resistance, when Devon Smith joined Charles and stemmed the flow of wickets before he was caught at short fine leg for six off Brown, top-edging a sweep. Four balls later, Brown struck again, when Charles was caught behind for 29, top edging a cut, leaving Windwards 36 for four.
The Jamaicans never allowed the Windwards to fully recover, although James and Liam Sebastien, with 19, added 43 for the fifth wicket.
Once Cotterrell bowled Sebastien for 11 in the 17th over and Sammy failed to produce his customary tail-end pyrotechnics, the Windwards’ innings faded miserably, as they lost four wickets for 22 inside the last four overs.
Scores: Windward Islands 98/8 (20/20 ov), Jamaica 99/5 (18.0/20 ov). Jamaica won by 5 wickets (with 12 balls remaining).