Esso made a successful entry into The Money Express Division One.
Cricket Competition as it bowled off last Sunday at The JPO. Esso batting first against Greenies 1 made 184-7 despite economical bowling spells from Hector Robinson 8-4-21-1 and Scott Watson 8-1 23-2. Alvin Babb, batting for Esso distinguished himself as the first to a half century this year with a workmanlike 54.
Supporting him was Milton Johnson who made 48.
The Greenies’ batting offered no challenge as they fell meekly for 127. Tony Higgins and Sam Suberan each got two wickets for Esso while a top score of 23 by D. King would never be enough to challenge the confident Crewe- Road boys.
Over at Smith- Road the other debut team, Paramount, met with contrasting fortune as they encountered a rough initiation into the higher level, against a ruthless Bi-Rite. Put in to bat Bi Rite attained a useful total of 194 mainly due to the efforts of Jalon Linton (48) Philip Wight (41) and Michael Wight (34). Troy Talor and Gary Tullock then exposed the Paramount’s brittle batting by combining to take 7 wickets in dismissing them for 50. ‘Bigger’ got 4-6 and Tullock 3-19.
After witnessing the demolition one wonders lf Paramount is ready to compete with the ‘big-boys’.
Time will tell.
The opening match of the Money Express Division Two Competition on Saturday was characterised by a defiant knock by a rookie schoolboy.
This did not stop Welly’s from registering a comfortable 7 wicket victory at Smith- Road.
On a wicket that spat, squatted, spun and stopped Cable and Wireless Schools reached 80-9 at the end of the 35 overs allowed. Fourteen year old Ramon Sealy playing in his first match at this level braved the adverse batting conditions at the top of the order and countered everything that the Wellies bowlers could conjure up for 34 overs and one ball before becoming Elvis Coward’s fourth victim by offering a sharp return catch. All the Wellies bowlers revelled in the perfect bowling conditions but none more so than Clevie Hunte (2-7), Stephen Best (2-11) and Elvis Coward (3-9).
Welly’s easily reached their target for the loss of three wickets with Rohan chambers contributing with a no-nonsense 22 and Charles Greaves undefeated on 23.
Meanwhile in West Bay time wasting could very be the reason for Winfair’s agonizing two runs defeat against Greenies2 in the other Division Two curtain raiser.
Greenies batted first and clambered to 114-9 in 28 overs.
Tim Hepburn (23) was the only batsman from Greenies who offered any resistance against the Winfair bowling, led by Trevor Ebanks (2-24), and Devon Williams (2-12). An opening stand of 54 between Devon Williams (27) and Mark Edwards should have been enough to rally home Winfair despite they losing two overs from their innings for a slow over rate.
However newcomer Tom Stevens intervened with a timely spell of 4-24. He along with some indifferent communication which caused four runouts resulted in Winfair two runs adrift when the overs ran out. .They may very well rue that defeat for the remainder of the season.
The West Indies selectors have an unenviable task of choosing a squad talented enough to compete in international cricket. In the past they tried potential, statistics, conditions and a combination of these three all to no avail. It is this writer’s opinion that for this series dedication was a major consideration in the selectors’ choice of players.
Runako Morton, a reformed man and one of the third stringers in the best forgotten Sri Lankan tour earn his recall primarily for the spirit he showed on that tour. It certainly is not based on his performance in the current domestic competition. It was a little harsh, but understandable when he was omitted from the squad to tour Australia. He thoroughly deserves this opportunity.
Another returnee Daren Ganga seemed to earn his resurgence by default.
Since his departure, no one has been able to solidify neither the number six position nor that of walking out first with Chris Gayle. The selectors seem to think that Ganga, with his experience may be competent enough to fill either, should the need arise. Let’s hope that Darren does not cloud his thoughts with lofty ideas and concentrate on fulfilling his obligation -scoring lots of runs.
Jerome Taylor returns to honour the potential he showed in 2003, before he was side-lined by injury. Apparently he is fully fit and demonstrated his form with a brilliant bowling display in Barbados two weeks ago. The twenty-one year old has a point to prove.
The thirty-one year old Deighton Butler was fittingly chosen only for the one day fixture as the tall lefthander has the ability to bowl consistently on a length and line.
Perhaps the great surprise was the recall of leg spinner Rawle Lewis after seven years in the cricket wilderness. Respectable regional performances and his leadership capabilities would have nudge the selectors to give him the green light. I am not too sure his bowling has reached or will ever reach the required international standard.
Clearly the selectors thought otherwise.
Dwayne smith was selected purely on his dedication to the task and very rare glimpses of singularity. The selectors see him as a long term investment worthy of the risk. The on tour administrators have to continue the difficult task of somehow working on this commodity in order to receive dividends enough to justify his retention.
Wavell Hinds has been in the ‘mix up’ too long to be still on the fringes of WI cricket. This surely should be his final chance to prove what I doubt he will. There is nothing special about his batting or bowling. There is a debate about which is worst, his fielding or his captaincy at the regional level yet he is being bandied about as a future WI captain.
Marlon Samuels, Ryan Hinds and Tino Best were all victims of their cricketing attitude. Just recently Barbados’s chief selector attributed the axing of Best from the national team to lack of commitment. Ryan Hinds is reputed to be a shirker from hard work and playing for the WI is sheer toil.
Marlon Samuels seems to have lost form and interest.
Is it too much to expect that all is well and the players can demonstrate this by playing worthy cricket? I remain eternally optimistic.