By Sean Devers in Antigua
In association with Vnet Communications,
Bounty Farm, Noble House Seafoods &
Nineteen year-old former West Indies U-19 player Alick Athanaze (23) batted with a maturity that belied his age to dominate an unbeaten 31-run eight wicket stand with his skipper Shane Shillingford (7) to give Windwards Volcanoes its first Regional 50-over title since 2013 by defeating Barbados Pride by three wickets to dethrone the defending Champions in Saturday night’s grand finale of the Regional Super50 Festival at Coolidge.
Urged on by a large and vocal contingent of Dominican biased Windwards supports under lights, the left-handed Athanaze smashed his former West Indies U-19 team mate, pacer Shamar Springer for a boundary with the scores level, off the third ball of the final over to spark ecstatic celebrations by Volcanoes and their fans which continued into the wee hours of yesterday morning at after final fete’.
The boundary took the Volcanoes to 236-7 as they successfully chased down the 232-9 made by the Bajan Franchise, hunting their seventh title on a good track and festive atmosphere. It also gave them the Clive Lloyd trophy and US$10,000.
Barbados received US$5,000, while Jaguars and Kent had to settle for US$ 1,000 each.
The 20-year-old Roland Cato made 54 from 64 balls with four fours and a two sixes to take the Man-of-the-Match, while Kaveem Hodge, from the Hurricane hit Island of Dominica, hit a carefully constructed 65-ball 39 with just a couple of boundaries and shared in a match winning 80-run fourth wicket stand before both batsmen were dismissed in the space of 12 runs.
Bajan Kyle Mayers hit three fours and a six in a run a ball 32 after the experienced 36-year-old Grenadian Devon Smith reached the small boundary six times in a cameo 29. Athanaze and his Skipper then saw their team to its third title after Julian Charles led them to their first in 1989 when they beat Guyana by one wicket in Grenada.
Left-arm pacer Dominic Drakes, the son of former West Indies speedster Vasbert Drakes, had 3-38 in a losing effort.
Set 233 to win, Smith was dismissed by Drakes at 44-1, while Johnson Charles (16) never suggested permanence and was bowled by Carter at 55-2 before Kirk Edwards was run out at 72-3.
Hodge and Cato began ‘operation rebuild’ before Drakes accounted for Hodge and Keon Harding trapped Cato LBW and when Mayers was bowled by Braithwaite the pendulum had swung back Pride’s way.
However, Athanaze and Shillingford batted sensibly to see their team over the hurdle.
Earlier, Pride opted to bat in sultry conditions and left-handed 30-year-old Jonathan Carter, who scored an accomplished 80 from 108 balls decorated with eight fours and a six in his 14th fifty at this level, shared in a 69-run second wicket partnership with Skipper Kraigg Braithwaite, whose 30 lasted 48 balls and included five fours before he was controversially given out stumped off Shillingford.
The West Indies batsman, who scored a century in Wednesday’s semi-final against Kent, had his foot grounded when Johnson Charles took off one bail and then overbalanced as the Keeper dislodged the second bail at 72-2 and TV Umpire Leslie Reifer adjudged he was stumped. This was after opener Omar Phillips was bowled by Ryan John for a duck at 3-1.
Carter and Roston Chase, the only batsman in the tournament with 500 runs, carried the score to 140 before Carter was removed by Athanaze to trigger a middle order collapse with saw Kevin Stoute (5), and Chase being sent packing by left-arm spinner Larry Edwards, while Kenroy Williams (5) was run out.
Hayden Walsh Jnr was caught off Shillingford for a duck to provide the off-spinner his with his 100th wicket in this format and when Springer (22) was dismissed by Obed McCoy at 198-8, six wickets had tumbledfor 40 runs.
Tevyn Walcott unbeaten on 18 and Drakes, who was bowled by McCoy for 11 ensured the Pride reached a fighting total which in the end was not enough as McCoy (2-29), Edward (2-41) and off-spinner Shane Shillingford (2-44) had two wickets each.
Chase took the Richie Richardson Award and US$500 for scoring the most runs, while Shillingford collected the Curtly Ambrose Award and US$500 for taking the most wickets.
The Jeff Dujon Award and US$500 for the most dismissals was shared by Denish Ramdin and Andre Fletcher, while the Gus Logie Award and US$500 for the most catches was won by Kirk Edwards and the Collis King Award for best All-rounder was won by Kaveem Hodge.
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