By Sean Devers
Rain which is forecast for the next three days in Georgetown threatens the fourth round of this year’s rain-affected Regional under-19 three day cricket tournament which is scheduled to bowl off today at three venues in Guyana.
While rain pounded Guyana’s Capitol for a good part of yesterday and the possibility of play today at Bourda, DCC and Everest seems bleak, the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) confirmed that there were no changes to the fixtures of venues for the penultimate round of the three-day tournament.
“This is a West Indies Cricket Board tournament and the fixtures just can’t be changed like that. Venues can be changed but in this instance the time would be too short to get another venue prepared in less than a day,” Reon King, the former West Indies pacer who is now employed by the GCB, explained.
Despite plenty of time lost due to rain in the last round Trinidad and Tobago beat host Guyana by 73 runs at Everest to move to second place on the points table on 24.3 points, while Jamaica registered their second win of the six-team competition by crushing Barbados, who slipped to third place on 20.3 points, by nine wickets at Enmore to take the lead after three rounds.
Jamaica, now on 28 points, last won the title at home in 2009 and are scheduled to play bottom-of-the-table Leeward Islands (6.7 points) in their next game at Bourda.
Barbados, who fell for the lowest total in this year’s competition (63) in the last round, take on defending Champions Windwards Islands who moved to fifth place on the points table with 7.3 after their last round game against the Leewards at Bourda ended in a draw.
The Windwards, who won only their second title since Regional youth cricket began in 1968, when they took championship honours last year in St Lucia, made a horrendous start by losing their first two matches outright before their last round draw.
Windwards Skipper Kaveem Hodge, the leading all-rounder in last year’s competition has scored the only century this year with a solid unbeaten 155 in the last round and his 249 runs at an average of 49.8 is the most runs scored this year.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Akeal Hosein (196), his fellow T&T batsman Sunil Ambris (186), Leewards Captain Rakheem Cornwall (179) and Jamaica’s John Campbell (151) are the only batsmen with 150 runs this season.
Chanderpaul Hemraj is Guyana’s leading run scorer with 146 runs (Ave 46.67) while Kwame Crosse (83 runs) is the only other Guyanese with a half-century or 50 runs in the competition. The top bowler is T&T left-arm spinner Derone Davis with 23 scalps.
West Indies under-19 player Keiron Joseph of T&T who was the leading scorer last year with 443 runs had managed just 103 runs this year from six innings, while Barbados’ Captain and the only Test player in the tournament, Kraigg Braithwaite has struggled to score just 57 runs from four innings at an average of 14.25.
Points standings after three rounds:
1. Jamaica 28.0
2. Trinidad & Tobago 24.3
3. Barbados 20.3
4. Guyana 15.8
5. Windwards 7.3
6. Leewards 6.7
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