A little over a month ago, Gros Islet and South Castries met in the opening rounds of the Acynta Auguste women’s 50-over competition. Gros Islet rang up an awesome score of 260/2. Swaylin William led the way with an unbeaten 108, and Malika Edward supported with 77. In reply, South Castries crumbled, making 72 all out. Malika and Qiana Joseph shared five wickets, as Gros Islet beat South Castries by 188 runs.
The two teams met again in the competition finale on Sunday. And it was a much, much different story.
Gros Islet batted first again, but this time they lasted only 38.3 overs, making 142 all out. William, returning from Trinidad and Tobago, where she has been playing with the Hibiscus Cricket Club, made 40. The 31-year-old lost partners rapidly. MArlene Preville added 26. But Qiana, a student at Gros Islet Secondary, made just eight. Nadine George hit a boundary before going leg before wicket to former West Indies teammate, Verena Felicien. Felicien, who in fact was West Indies captain, also took the wicket of another fellow veteran, Hermina Vitte.
But it was yes another oldie goldie, Phillipa Thomas Eudovic, who stole the show. The 47-year-old right-arm fast bowler, who played the last of her 26 one day internationals for the West Indies in 2005, captured five wickets.
Needing 143 to lift the title, losing 2015 finalists South Castries batted steadily. Led by their captain, Ashlene Edward, and Maria David, they made the total for the loss of just two wickets. Ashlene, a 25-year-old from Sarrot, was unbeaten on 50, whilst Maria was dismissed on a similar score.
Next up for the women will be trials for the Saint Lucia national team, which will take part in a series of matches in May, against ladies from Dominica, Grenada, and St Vincent and the Grenadines. These matches will be used to select a Windward Islands team, which will take part in the 2016 West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Regional Tournament will be held in Guyana. Up to last year, the tournament had included North Windwards and South Windwards. But this year, with the debut of the Leeward Islands, the two Windwards teams will be combined.
The WICB women’s tournament will be played in Twenty20 and ODI formats.
National training has commenced, with 22 players in intense preparation mode, and John Eugene is again appointed coach, while Philippa is the trainer. One player, 2015 captain Yasmine St Ange is presently studying at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill.