Cayman Islands Under-19s cricketers will not be going to the World Cup finals despite some stirring performances by captain Ramon Sealy who had an outstanding tournament.
He thoroughly deserved his Most Valuable Player of the Tournament award.
Cayman beat Bahamas to finish third in the ICC Americas Regional tournament near Ontario, Canada.
Cayman came back from the disappointment of defeat against Canada with the win over Bahamas on Saturday.
Bermuda beat Canada at King City in Saturday’s other match to earn a trip to Malaysia in 2008 for the Under-19 World Cup finals. Bermuda and Canada are the two highest ranked development countries in the Americas and contested an exciting match of fluctuating fortunes. Bermuda won by 13 runs in taking this event for the first time.
Bahamas put up a solid batting performance to reach 212 runs for 6 wickets in 50 overs. Cayman’s reply was going really well but stumbled after the top three batsmen went early. Overs were in hand, so sensible batting from the ninth wicket pair of Robert Hewitt (25 not out) and Corey Cato (9 not out) brought victory at the end of 45 overs.
The game was well contested and should help both sides feel more confident after some tough games at King City. Johnathan Berry scored an excellent 58 runs, and with Marc Taylor (23 runs) gave Bahamas a solid start. Gregory Taylor, the Bahamian skipper, put 30 runs on the board, before falling to a catch by Sealy at the wicket off Kervin Ebanks.
Jeremy Jesubatham then played a fine innings of 41 runs, including six boundaries, so the first four wickets almost broke the 200 run barrier, failing by just one run. A couple of late innings wickets were lost in advancing the score to 212 runs for 6 from 50 overs.
Kervin Ebanks ended with 3 for 39 runs from his ten overs, including Jesubatham as well as Taylor in his victims.
Sealy notched his third 50 of the tournament, missing out against Canada. McConvey was out first, for 32 runs with the total on 75 runs and the scoring rate going well. Sacha De Alwis helped keep the innings flowing but after Sealy was out for 66 runs (77 balls, 11 boundaries), the Bahamians enjoyed a spell of success with the ball.
Opening bowler Roderick Mitchell took 3 wickets for 48 runs in the Bahamian cause. He was well supported by Jesubatham (2 wickets for 49 runs in 10 overs). But Hewitt lead the later Caymanian batting and steered his side to victory with 5 overs to spare.
It was Bahamas first appearance in these championships and there is promise for the future. Having spent most of the last year travelling around the High Performance Associates countries and the World Cup circuit, cricket lovers in both the Caymans and Bahamas might be interested to know that the message from the coaches is pretty much the same at all levels: get the basics right. Bowl a good line and length for most of the innings, cut out the wides and other extras, play down the line of the ball, run the first run fast, and keep the score moving sensibly in building the base for the innings.
Easier to say than do, especially as the support resources available for the leading Test countries.