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Two Saint Lucians played key roles, one with bat and one with ball, as the Windward Islands beat tournament leaders Jamaica by 103 runs in the fourth round of the West Indies Under-17 Cricket Tournament.
Playing at Shaw Park in Tobago, Windwards boys batted first. Johann Jeremiah led the batting with an unbeaten 84 off 126 balls, but Saint Lucia’s Nick Elibox supported with 50 off 77 balls, including four fours and two sixes. The island lads compiled 225/5 from their 50 overs.
Johnel Eugene failed to contribute with the bat, getting out for duck after facing just two deliveries. But when Jamaica’s batsmen got off to a quick start in the chase, it was his bowling that was key to first slowing down the run rate, then taking wickets. The 15-year-old had the second wicket of the innings, opener Kashwayne Beale for 30 in the 21st over.
Jamaica’s openers had put on 72, and the second wicket put on a further 18. But the run-out of captain Brad Barnes for duck in that same 21st over precipitated an epic collapse. Narun Singh took a second wicket in the 22nd over, then Eugene captured Javeur Royal (five runs) in the 23rd. In the 25th he took Raewin Senior (6) and Rashnyni Roye (0). And in the 27th he got Michael Harriott (5).
Dane Edward, who had scored 13 at the top of the Windwards innings, effected the run-out of Andrae McCathy to end the Jamaica innings.
On Friday at Canaan, Windward Islands took their only loss in four matches, falling to hosts Trinidad and Tobago by seven wickets. Windwards made 172 off 44.3 overs, Eugene with 28. Trinidad and Tobago made 176/3. On Sunday, they kept pace with the Windwards, beating Barbados by five wickets.
Due to the system of awarding points for wickets taken by fast bowlers, however, Windward Islands remain third on the table with 18.1. Trinidad and Tobago have at least 22 points, whilst Jamaica have 19.1. Windwards, with the tournament’s most prolific batting, have by far the best net run rate in the competition, but their reliance on spinners is costing them points.
The tournament is still wide open, however. In the fifth round on Tuesday, Windward Islands face the winless, bottom-of-the-table Leeward Islands at Canaan. Trinidad and Tobago face Guyana at Mount Pleasant, and Barbados take on Jamaica at Shaw Park.