The Cayman Islands men’s cricket team competed in Fort Lauderdale in the International Cricket Council Americas T-20 Division 2 tournament and did exceptionally well.
After some disappointing results abroad in recent years, Cayman’s morale was boosted from this tournament, finishing a creditable second.
Cayman played Suriname, Argentina and Bahamas over the weekend, winning four games and losing twice to champions Suriname, who only lost one of their six games.
Game one against Suriname was reduced to 14 overs due to a damp pitch and on winning the toss, Cayman asked Suriname to bat first. After a shaky start, Suriname were able to recover to score 84 for 6 off their 14 overs.
Cayman started positively in their turn at bat, reaching 59 for 2 off 11 overs, due mainly to some attacking play from Ramon Sealy, Omar Willis and captain Chris Palmer.
But once those three were out, Cayman failed to keep the momentum and ended up needing 14 runs off the last over. Cayman lost their nerve and the game, ending on 79 for 6 in their 14 overs.
Against the Bahamas in their second game, Cayman were keen to have a positive result.
Cayman batted first and scored 122 for 6, with Deno McInnis getting an attractive 34. Ainsley Hall chipped in with 27. Cayman restricted Bahamas to 90 for 7 off their 20 overs to register their first win of the tournament.
Cayman started day 2 with a game against the winless Argentinians. Cayman won the toss and elected to bat on a sluggish wicket reaching 122 for 6 in 20 overs. Omar Willis was again in the runs with 37 and Sealy 28.
Cayman restricted Argentina to 71 in their turn at bat with Adrian “Stickman” Wright bowling 3 overs for 12 runs and getting 3 wickets.
Then Cayman came up against Suriname again. The Cayman strategy was to restrict Suriname to 100 runs or less and some outstanding fielding, which saw three run outs together with good bowling from Troy Taylor with figures of 4 overs, 18 runs, 2 wickets, saw Suriname achieved 103 in their 20 overs.
Cayman’s batsmen failed to get going and were restricted to just 20 runs off the first 7 overs.
Suriname employed a battery of spinners for their entire bowling spell, making runs difficult to get and Cayman could only manage 88 off their 20 overs.
With the second day completed, the Cayman record was now 2-2. On the final day 3, the morning game saw Cayman come up against the Bahamas. Cayman scored 117 for 7, with the top order contributing the bulk of the runs.
Cayman’s top scorers were Sealy 35, Zachary McLaughlin 25, Chris Palmer 20 and Willis 24.
Bahamas were bowled out in 19.4 overs for 91 with Ryan Bovell getting 5 wickets for 19 runs in 3.4 overs.
However, the big news of the day was that Suriname had lost to Argentina.
This meant that Cayman had a chance of winning the tournament should Suriname lose again, to Bahamas.
The final game pitted Cayman against Argentina who won the toss, elected to bat and were immediately in trouble, crumbling to 28 runs for 7 wickets.
However, some lusty low-order batting saw them get to a respectable 71 in 20 overs.
Cayman made light work of this target, convincingly achieving it in 17 overs.
In the end, Suriname beat Bahamas in the other game to secure the champion spot.
Cayman Islands won four man-of-the match awards – Sealy, Willis, Adrian Wright and Conroy Wright.
Willis won best batsman of the tournament and Hall won best wicketkeeper. Bovell narrowly missed out on best bowler.