By Sean Devers in Trinidad
In Association with Digicel, Carib Beer, Giftland Office Max, Payless Variety Store & Leisure Inn & Car Rentals
Barbados, on the back of a belligerent 83 from Dwayne Smith, the leading batsman in the tournament and incisive bowling from Carlos Braithwaite got past host Trinidad & Tobago by 17 runs in a hard fought final of NAGICO Regional Super50 cricket tournament in front of a full house at the Queens Park Oval on Saturday night to capture the Clive Lloyd Trophy.
Barbados were the only unbeaten side in the eight-team competition, winning their sixth title at this level and first since their heartbreaking tie with the Leeward Islands in 2010 in Jamaica.
They defeated T&T in the zone stage before disposing of a depleted Guyana Malta Supreme in the semis, while the host team trounced Jamaica in their semi-final to set up the rematch in the final.
Although T&T and Guyana were the strongest sides on paper, Barbados were the most consistent throughout the two-week tournament.
Jamaica were going strong until T&T destroyed them in the semis when the team from Reggae Country catapulted to their lowest total at this level, being bundled out for an embarrassing 49 from 24.2 overs.
None of the players that scored centuries have any International experience and apart from Guyana in their first match against Ireland, no team reached 300 in a generally disappointing performance from the batsmen. Most of the batsmen threw their wickets away with injudicious shots on pitches that deteriorated as the tournament progressed due to too many matches being played too frequently on the same square.
However, conditions had little to do with five scores of less than 115 in 12 group matches, while apart from a few, the Umpires were shockingly poor. More attention must be focused on lifting the standard of umpiring and pitch preparation if West Indies cricket is to crawl of the doldrums it finds itself in.
The 25-year-old St Lucian Keddy Lesporis scored the first ton, an even unbeaten century against Jamaica, while the uncapped pair of Andre McCarthy (93), Tamar Lambert (88) missed out on maiden hundreds in the same game.
The 26-year-old Bajan Jonathon Carter scored a classy 109 against T&T to register his second century at this level, while the other three-figure score was made by 25-year-old Jamaican Nkrumah Bonner, whose 122, his second ton at this level, was made against Guyana.
None of the West Indies batsmen reached three-figures, although 30-year-old Smith (232) scored three fifties and was the only batsman to reach 200 runs.
Carter (170) was second among the run scorers, while only Guyanese Ramnaresh Sarwan (151) of the other batsmen reached 150 runs. Bonner (145) and Shiv Chanderpaul (144) made up the top five run scores, although Chanderpaul missed two games and Sarwan one due to a flu bug which hit the Guyana camp.
The 32-year-old T&T pacer Rayed Emrit, who has played two ODIs for the West Indies, captured the most wickets (10), while 32-year-old left-arm spinner Suleiman Benn, who has not played an ODI in three years, and fit again 29-year-old T&T quickie Ravi Rampaul had nine each.
Sunil Narine, the world rated 25-year-old T&T off-spinner and 24-year-old Guyanese left-arm Test spinner Veerasammy Permaul, took eight wickets each and were also among the top five bowlers.
West Indies wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin, who scored a futile 68 in the final, had the most dismissals (6) in the tournament and Lambert who scored 122 runs and bagged 5 wickets was adjudged the best All-Rounder.
Guyana’s Ronsford Beaton was the quickest bowler on show but his pace was only sustained in his opening spell and strength training is an area he needs to work on. But he is only 21 and if properly handled, has a bright future.
Chris Barnwell, who could be considered unlucky to be dropped from the West Indies t20 side and Leon Johnson, also had good performances for Guyana.
Bajan off-spinner Ashley Nurse had six wickets and the only five-wicket haul but all of his wickets came in one match on a spin friendly surface, while Carlos Braithwaite, Jason Holder, Fidel Edwards, Rampaul, Mervin Matthew, Delorn Johnson, Paul Wintz, Beaton, Emrit and Andre Russell all had good spells during the tournament.
But Jerome Taylor, who has not played for the West Indies in four years, made an auspicious return to the Jamaican team with six wickets at an average of 11.83 and an economy rate of 3.06. The 29-year-old Taylor was arguably the best fast bowler on display.
Most games were played during the week and all the games in Trinidad were Day/Night affairs starting at 14:00hrs. However, this is the height of the Carnival season here and fans only turned up in their numbers for some of the home team’s big games and a few of the Guyana matches, since there is a large Guyanese population in Trinidad.
However, tickets for the final were sold out and the atmosphere at the ‘Oval’ was absolutely fantastic, as the Trinis, arguably the most patriotic people in the Caribbean when it comes to National events, created a Sea of Red in the stands in support of their team.
There was live radio coverage by the Caribbean Super Station, while ESPN carried the games (except the two in Tobago) live around the world giving the players International exposure. Tickets were cheap and while the advertising campaign was good it competed with all the different Carnival fetes on the Island.
Many also feel the tournament is too short and that each team should have the opportunity of playing each other once in the preliminary with the top two teams playing in a final, which will give especially the ‘new players’ more exposure.
Imran ‘McSood’ Amjad, the St Marten based NAGIO CEO told Kaieteur News that more matches would be a good idea but the problem could be drafting out what he described as an ideal format.
“Apart from the extra funding needed for a longer tournament, our biggest worry is how to come up with an ideal format that is not too long and drawn out to become boring, while still giving the players more matches,” Amjad explained.
Man of the Match: Dwayne Smith
Most runs: Dwayne Smith
Most wickets: Rayad Emrit
Best All Rounder: Tamar Lambert
Best fielder: Evin Lewis
Best Keeper: Denesh Ramdin
Dec 14, 2019CHENNAI, India, CMC – Despite a recent disappointing record in One-Day Internationals, assistant coach Roddy Estwick believes the signs are there that West Indies are about to turn around their...
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]