In the final preliminary rounds of the inaugural NCB-sponsored T-20 Challenge Trophy over the weekend, the Cayman bowlers easily qualified for the semifinals.
A roundup of last weekend’s games:
Cayman Islands vs. Sri Lanka
In the only game at the Jimmy Powell oval, Cayman Islands thrashed Sri Lanka by 94 runs to easily qualify for the semifinals. Cayman won the toss and batted first, scoring the tournament’s highest total of 158 for the loss of three wickets, off their 20 overs.
Zachary Mclaughlin smashed 55, Alessandro Morris 31 and Ramon Sealy a blistering 35. No Sri Lanka bowler was spared in the onslaught; the best figure of no wickets for 19 runs was returned by Umar.
In Sri Lanka’s turn at the crease, the demoralized team could only muster 64 all out in 16.2 overs as the Cayman bowling ripped apart their innings. Gregory Smith and Alessandro Morris got three wickets each to seal a comfortable win for the victors.
Jamaica vs. World Stars
In the first game at the Smith Road oval, drama unfolded as tournament favorites Jamaica surprisingly lost to World Stars in a high-scoring encounter, organizers said in a press release.
Jamaica won the toss and opted to bat, posting a massive total of 144 for 5 of which captain Paul Manning got 42, Conroy Wright 35 and Deno McInniss 34. The most outstanding bowler for World Stars was Al Shields, who took 3 wickets for 33 runs. Nkrumah Morgan also got 1 wicket for a measly 13 runs from his 4 overs. With such a good score on the board, Jamaica must have been feeling fairly confident of a win.
In World Stars’ reply, in-form opening batsman Jalon Linton benefited from a crucial dropped chance on the boundary by newly crowned cricketer of the year, Troy Taylor, and went on to top score with 64. Captain Sam Suberan chipped in with 31 and together with Linton held together a significant partnership of 56, which saw World Stars safely home at 145 for 5. Corey Cato and Paul Manning got 2 wickets apiece for 15 and 24 runs, respectively.
India vs. Barbados
With Jamaica having lost the first game, this put India in with a chance of qualifying for the semifinals in their game against Barbados. Barbados won the toss and batted first, scoring an even 100 for 9, from their allotted 18 overs. Tennyson Roach top scored with 24, Marlon Hoyte had 21 and Kirkpatrick Clarke, 17.
Ravindra was the most successful bowler for the Indians, bagging 3 for 20 off his 4 overs. India knew they had to get these runs and get them fast. They started the charge immediately but were quickly pegged back at 16 runs for 4 wickets in the first 4 overs by some superb pace bowling from Bajan seamer Greg Shepherd. However, the India middle order was able to steady themselves to put together a match winning partnership of 85 between all-rounders Akhilesh, who got 47 not out, and Nitin 31 not out. India reached 101 for 4 off 12.2 overs. Shepherd bagged 3 wickets for 22 runs. In the end, India’s win was not enough to see them through to the semifinals as Jamaica scraped through on superior net run rate.
Semifinals, final on Sunday
The semifinal match-ups this weekend will pit World Stars against Guyana at the Jimmy Powell oval. Cayman Islands will take on Jamaica at the Smith Road oval. Both games start at 10 a.m. Sunday. The winners of each semifinal will then contest the final at the Smith Road Oval at 2:30 p.m.