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Melius debuts, Edward strikes for Windward Islands!

By Terry Finisterre

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Kimani Melius (right), the West Indies Under-19 and West Indies B opening batsman, was handed his cap by legendary Windwards opener, Devon Smith.

(SNO) — Three wickets for Larry Edward and a patient, watchful start from teenaged debutant Kimani Melius left the eighth-round West Indies Championship match between Windwards Volcanoes and Barbados Pride evenly poised after the opening day Thursday (Feb. 21) at the Arnos Vale Playing Field in Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The two sides had contrasting results in the previous round, with Volcanoes losing and Pride winning. But the Volcanoes, sitting third on the points table, would be hoping to complete a season sweep against a side with whom they have had some titanic battles. Earlier in the year, the Volcanoes scored a big win at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown.

Coming into the ante-penultimate round of matches, four-time defending champions Guyana Jaguars already have one hand on the Headley/Weekes Trophy, with the Windwards trailing the Leewards in third, Barbados lagging behind in fourth, ahead of Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago propping up the table.

In the fixture at Arnos Vale, Barbados won the toss and elected to bat. Saint Lucia’s repeat Junior Sportsman of the Year, teenager Kimani Melius, was given his first-class debut. The West Indies Under-19 and West Indies B opening batsman was handed his cap by legendary Windwards opener, Devon Smith.

Barbados were all out for 215 runs in 62.1 overs. Jonathan Carter made a patient 42 (off 99 balls) and Tevyn Walcott a crucial 66 (114 balls) batting at number 7. Saint Lucia’s Larry Edward was the joint leading wicket taker for the Windwards, and had the best economy rate, conceding just 29 runs, or 2.3 runs per over from his 12.2 overs.

In reply, the Windwards found themselves in a spot of bother at the close at 49/2. losing Smith for 18 and Kavem Hodge for four. Melius, though, saw off a full 73 balls and absorbed 63 dot balls in compiling 19 runs, including five singles, three twos, and two fours. He was partnered with captain Sunil Ambris at the close.

With the Windwards 166 runs behind, they will certainly be desirous of big innings from their skipper and their debutante batsman on the second day of this match-up.

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