(SNO) — With the Windward Islands “Goodwill” Cricket Tournament coming up, and the 2018-19 West Indies Championship winding up, it’s been a strange first-class season for Saint Lucian cricketers.
Batsman Tarryck Gabriel played the majority of the season for the Windward Islands Volcanoes franchise, and spinner Larry Edward has been the team’s leading wicket-taker. Meanwhile, schoolboy Kimani Melius has opened the innings in the last three matches for the Windwards, and Audy Alexander, who is actually contracted to the Volcanoes, had yet to play a match until this past weekend.
Going up against the Leeward Islands Hurricanes at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua and Barbuda, the Windwards included Melius and Alexander, who featured as a replacement player for Obed McCoy who was called up to the West Indies team for the T20 series against England in St Kitts and Nevis. But the tourists excluded their top bowler, Edward, supposedly for “rest”. The result on the scoreboard was a six-wicket loss to the home team, as Devon Thomas hit his sixth first-class hundred and West Indies fast bowler Alzarri Joseph bagged eight wickets.
But there was also a defiant 50 from Alexander, his first at this level. The 28-year-old left-hander from Saltibus was the only man past 32 runs as the Windwards succumbed meekly to a Joseph five-fer in the second innings.
The visitors had given up a lead of 61 on first innings, compiling 200 to the Leewards’ 261, Alexander contributing two, and Melius 29. In the second innings, Melius recorded his first duck, and the rest of the batting duly collapsed, but Alexander, with 50 off 72 balls, inclusive of six fours, helped his team to extend its innings to 229 all out, yielding a routine target for the Leewards, who lost just four wickets in search of their target score of 168.
Former West Indies Under-19 captain Emmanuel Stewart recorded an 18-ball duck for Windwards, and Windwards captain Sunil Ambris indicated his batting was returning to a purple patch with the first innings top score of 92, taking him past 2,000 runs in the Championship.