Trinidad and Tobago got their West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Regional Under-15 title defence off to a perfect start with a six-wicket victory over the Windward Islands at Kensington Cricket Club in Barbados yesterday.
Despite being beset by cramps to their players in the field, T&T were able to restrict the Windwards to 130-9 from their allotted 50 overs. Johnnel Eugene, with a patient 57 from 118 balls, was the only batsman to offer any resistance.
Trinidad and Tobago had a moderate start in their response, at 30 without loss in the 14th over, when Joshua James (11) retired hurt, which prompted a mini collapse, but Cephas Cooper, with an unbeaten 44, and skipper Kirstan Kallicharan, 22 from 13 balls, ensured that the champions got their campaign off on a winning note.
Scores: Windward Islands 130-9 (50 overs); Trinidad & Tobago 134-4 (45.5 overs).
Winning coach Glen Dwarika told the Jamaica Observer that in spite of the rough conditions, his team was able to stick to the game plan, which was the reason for their dominance.
“When we were bowling we gave them a target of about 135-140; our strike bowlers stuck to their task and we were able to limit them to that total.
“We had some slight hiccups in the batting department, our opening batsman pulled a groin muscle and he had to retire hurt, also our captain had a muscle pull while taking a catch, but the boys pulled their weight.”
Dwarika also explained that the game was used to measure the performance of each player, as they were denied adequate preparation time back home due to inclement weather.
“We have some work to do, and we will be doing that in the coming days. We want to hold on to the trophy and in order to do that we have to play twice as hard as last year, and we are hoping to do that.”
His opposite number, Alton Crafton, was disappointed with his team’s performance.
“I am not too satisfied, we did well in patches, but it was not consistent enough for us to get the result we wanted. We didn’t put enough runs on the board, because the middle order didn’t rotate the strike enough and that led to us being slow in the building.”
The T&T bowling attack was led by two wickets each from Te-Shawn Alleyne, Avinash Mahabirsingh, Kallicharan and Nathaniel McDavid.