Windwards end drought

J Charles

Johnson Charles struck 46 helping Windward Islands to an easy victory over Combined Campuses and Colleges.

Windward Islands ended a 13-year title drought when they pounded Combined Campuses and Colleges by nine wickets to win a lopsided Regional Super50 final in Bridgetown, Barbados on Sunday.

Chasing a revised target of 134 from 29 overs in the rain-hit day/night contest at Kensington Oval, the Windwards cruised to victory with time and effort to spare, to lift their third regional title.

Once again, they were guided by talisman opener Devon Smith who top scored with an unbeaten 67 while West Indies limited overs batsman Johnson Charles struck 46. The pair put on 100 off 98 balls for the first wicket, a partnership that snuffed the life out of any hopes CCC harboured of sneaking a surprise victory.

“This is very pleasing. It is a long time we haven’t won something and it is just wonderful that we have won this championship,” a beaming Windwards captain Liam Sebastien said.

Earlier, CCC were bowled out for 174 in the final over of the scheduled 50, after they were sent in with the threat of rain in the air. Captain Kyle Corbin top scored with 46, Nekoli Parris got 34 while Shacaya Thomas chipped in with 35, to rescue their side from a shaky position of 31 for four in the 11th over.

Left-arm seamer Kenroy Peters, who shared the Man-of-the-Match honour with Smith, was the best bowler with four for 32 while West Indies off-spinner Shane Shillingford took three for 29.

Play was scheduled to resume at 6:57 pm but rain, which twice interrupted play during the CCC innings, returned to thwart the game during the break and cause a two hour delay. Once the rain cleared, Smith and Charles set about the wayward CCC bowling with relish, and had rushed to 46 without loss after just five overs.

Smith, cutting and pulling with ferocity, counted six fours and two sixes in his 70-ball knock while Charles struck six fours and a six off 45 deliveries.

The left-handed Smith made clear his intentions from early, pulling fast bowler Kesrick Williams for four and then six in the second over of the innings. He top-edged left-arm seamer Raymon Reifer over long leg for his second six and also pulled the first ball of pacer Kevin McClean’s spell to the mid-wicket boundary, as he marched to his half-century off a run-a-ball.

Charles, meanwhile, got after CCC’s spinners, twice lofting off-spinner Ryan Austin straight for boundaries — the second clearing long-off off a massive blow.

Victory was looming when he drove Williams to Corbin at cover in the 17th over and Tyrone Theophile, who finished 17 not out, joined Smith to see Windwards home.

It was Peters who had earlier put the CCC in dire straits when he knocked over the first three batsmen and then watched as Shillingford got stuck into the lower order.

Bowling under overcast skies, Peters had 19-year-old left-hander Anthony Alleyne caught at the wicket for one off the ninth ball of the day, with the score on eight. In his next over, the fourth of the evening, he had the dangerous Chadwick Walton taken at gully by Keddy Lesporis for 13, trying to steer one that bounced, down to third man.

Ironically, Lesporis had floored a sitter at second slip off Walton with the batsman on seven, in the previous over by left-arm pacer Delorn Johnson.

Left-hander Raymon Reifer, given a promotion in the order, nicked Peters behind in the eighth over to depart for three, as CCC slid to 21 for three in the eighth over.

When veteran left-hander Floyd Reifer was run out for two by bowler Johnson’s direct throw, CCC were in turmoil and were in need of a huge effort from their middle order.

Corbin came to his side’s rescue, counter-attacking in an innings that needed 54 balls and included five fours and two classy sixes. More importantly, he added a vital 47 for the fifth wicket with Parris who faced 79 balls and struck a single four. The right-handed Corbin used his feet well to the spinners to gather a couple of boundaries through the off-side and to also clear the ropes straight for the maximum.

However, with a half-century looming and CCC finding momentum, he attempted one big shot too many and succeeded only in giving Dalton Polius a simple catch at deep mid on off left-arm spinner Alston Bobb.

Parris then assumed responsibility for the innings, putting on a further 43 for the sixth wicket with Thomas who faced 51 balls.

Both batsmen batted sensibly until Parris clipped an innocuous delivery from Shillingford to short mid-wicket where Devon Smith moved smartly to his left to take a deft catch.

Thomas inside edged Johnson behind at 133 for seven in the 39th over as three wickets fell for six runs in the space of 18 balls, but Kevin McClean (19) and Ryan Austin (13 not out), provided a late rally by posting 35 for the last wicket.

Summarised Scores: CCC 174 all out off 49.2 overs (Kyle Corbin 46; Kenroy Peters four for 32, Shane Shillingford three for 29) Windward Islands 134 for one off 22.2 overs (Devon Smith 67 not out, Johnson Charles 46) Result: Windward Islands won by nine wickets to win the Clive Lloyd Trophy.                         

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