Cayman Islands defeated Jamaica and retained their hold on the Challenge Trophy.
Scores were low in Sunday’s final at the Smith Road Oval in a closely fought battle. Cayman batted first and were limited to 115 for 7 wickets with Zachary McLaughlin 28 and Omar Bryan 23 the main run getters.
Franklin Hinds and Conroy Wright took 2 wickets as Jamaica’s best bowlers.
Cayman captain Troy Taylor marshalled his side superbly. Limiting Jamaica’s total was vital and Taylor set about using his bowlers and fielders shrewdly to restrict them. A 3 wickets haul from Kevin Bazil thwarted the Jamaica batting. He was assisted by Germaine Griffiths and Taylor with 2 wickets each. Cayman Islands won by 13 runs.
In the play off for third place, Barbados defeated World Stars by 42 runs. Ryan Bovell had an outstanding all round match scoring 42 runs and getting 2 wickets.
Theo Cuffy, technical director of the Cayman Islands Cricket Association, said, “The whole tournament was really exciting and it ended with an intriguing final. Both teams showed a lot of strategy and had to think carefully because it was not a high scoring game. “Congratulations to Cayman, they were always confident of winning, no matter what score they made.”
Taylor was never in any doubt that Cayman would remain champions. “The strategy was to be positive and play aggressive cricket and build pressure on the opposition,” he said adding that although 115 was well below their target of 150 they knew it was essential to pick up early wickets to create some pressure, which they did.
Taylor felt that getting Wright’s wicket early was a major factor in their success. The Jamaican captain has the ability to win any match, such is his prowess with bat and ball.
“Conroy’s wicket was an important one to get because he strikes the ball powerfully and could have taken the game away from us,” Taylor said, adding that there was no fear from the outset that they would not win.
“We know the talent we have in the dressing room and we trust each other.”
Taylor, 30, is super-fit at the moment, partly because he plays football at center-back for George Town in the Premier League. “The crossover training helps,” he said. “I would say I’m playing the best cricket of my career at the moment. I can certainly improve once I can stay fit this season.
“Next is to take momentum into the league with my club By Rite and defend our title as champions and also preparations for the ICC Division 6 tournament in the summer which is a really important one.” Taylor acknowledged his Cayman teammates for their hard work, support and commitment.