The 2014 NAGICOSuper50 bowled off yesterday at the Queens Park Oval in Trinidad with defending Champions Windward Islands starting with a 14-run defeat against eight times former champs Jamaica in the Day/Night encounter.
Jamaica won the toss and elected to bat on a track with preparation moisture. They reached 282-5 off 50 overs with Tamar Lambert (88) and Andrew McCarthy (93) leading the way with a record 179-run fourth wicket stand to spur their team to the highest total in a Regional 50-over contest on this ground.
Mervin Matthew, who was removed from the attack after bowling two consecutive ‘beamers’, took 3-33 from eight impressive overs for the Islanders.
The Windwards in reply got to 268-8 with Keddy Lesporis (100*) making a maiden hundred, the first by a non Trinidadian at this venue. Devon Smith (52) and Johnson Charles (40) were the other main scorers. Lambert returned with the ball to grab 2-32 with his off-spin while left-arm spinner Nikita Miller took 3-35.
A small working day crowd watched Matthews dismiss Horace Miller (9), John Campbell (16) and Nkrumah Bonner (1) as Jamaica slipped to 32-3 inside the first hour.
The burly 32-year-old Lambert and McCarthy revived the position with attractive batting in mostly sunny conditions on a fast outfield before Lambert was removed by Pacer Delorn Johnson. He struck 10 fours and a six and faced 99 balls.
The 26-year-old McCarthy fell seven short of his maiden century when he was caught off left-arm spinner Gary Mathurin after facing 124 balls and hitting 10 fours and two sixes.
The West Indies pair of Andrew Russell who smashed three fours and two sixes in an unbeaten 16-ball 28 and Carlton Baugh whose 28 not out lasted just 13 balls and was decorated with five boundaries, featured in an unbroken 50-run partnership to take Jamaica to an imposing total.
The Windwards, badly missing injured Skipper Darren Sammy and banned off-spinner Shane Shillingford, began their reply with all guns blazing with Smith and Charles batting positively.
Charles tore into Russell, clobbering him for three fours to propel the Windwards to 50 in seven overs before Miller got rid of Charles who hit seven fours in his cameo to leave his team on 62-1.
But when Tyrone Theophile (1) fell to Lambert three runs later the wind was knocked out of the Windwards’ sail despite a fighting 32-run third wicket partnership between Smith, who faced 81 balls and hit four fours, and Andrew Fletcher (21).
Lesporis weighed in by hitting 11 fours and two effortless sixes in his undefeated century which he got in the final over but in the end it was too little, too late. (Sean Devers)
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