Windward Islands are the West Indies Under-17 cricket champions, coming from behind to take the title at the death in the final round.
The Windwards came into Tuesday’s fifth round in Tobago with 18.1 points from three wins, needing to beat bottom-of-the-table Leeward Islands to stand a chance of winning.
Jamaica and hosts Trinidad and Tobago, with more bonus points from their fast bowlers, stood first and second on 19.4 and 19.1.
With much depending on the results in the other matches, Windward won the toss and batted, going over 200 runs for the fourth time this tournament.
Allick Athanaze hit 85 from 87 balls as Windwards totalled 264 for nine. Saint Lucia’s Nick Elibox added a crucial 43. But Leeward Islands were never in the run chase, especially after a rain delay that led to a revised target of 262.
Shane Roberts and the Windwards quicks ripped through the Leewards batsmen, taking 4-12 as the northern islanders were routed for 57. Windwards beat Leewards by 2017 (!) runs and ended the tournament with 24.9 points.
But their fate was not in their hands, and the results of the other games would prove vital.
Jamaica, the leaders going into the final round, were decimated by Barbados at Shaw Park. Jamaica were bowled out for 93, and Barbados’ openers got to 96 not out.
Trinidad and Tobago got Guyana out for 166. They needed 167 to claim the title. But a flurry of wickets, followed by fading light after a rain-hit day, gave Guyana the win via Duckworth/Lewis.
That left Trinidad and Tobago tied on 19.4 points with Jamaica, claiming second place due to a superior run rate. But it was the team with the best run rate of them all, the Windward Islands – featuring four Saint Lucian lads – who copped their first ever title.
Kimani Melius now joins the Windwards Under-15 in Guyana. Johnel Eugene joins the Windwards Under-19 next week in Jamaica. Nick Elibox is off to school in the United Kingdom.