Defending champions, the Gros Islet Under-19 cricket team, started their defense of their title with a massive 162 runs victory over last year’s finalist Babonneau in the Sandals sponsored Saint Lucia National Cricket Association Inter District Under-19 tournament on Tuesday afternoon (16th April 2019) at the Gros Islet Playing Field.
Despite a few hitches (including an unprepared wicket), the pitch was finally prepared by John Eugene with the help of grounds staff. During an ‘on again off again’ interaction, two umpires arrived and the toss was finally taken at 11.00 a.m. with play starting at 11.15 a.m., over one hour late. It was agreed that the match would be reduced to 40 overs with a cut off time for lunch at 2.30 p.m.
The game proceeded, with Gros Islet winning the toss and deciding to bat, and despite being 67 for the loss of three wickets, including that of West Indies Under-19 opening batsman Kimani Melius for 13, the day truly belonged to the trio of Lee Solomon for scoring a well-played 126 not out and Zidane Arthur, 59 not out. The pair added a record 177 for the fourth wicket, and left arm spinner Simeon Gerson, a record-breaking performance with the ball bowling from the pavilion end, picking up 9 wickets for 9 runs from 6.4 overs.
Kimani was the first to go well caught by Merve Renee from an inside edge off the bowling of Craig Elizee for 13 with the score on 25; Garvin Serieux did not last too long as he was the next batsman out brilliantly caught at deep mid-on by Sheldon Busby off the bowling of Craig Elizee for 5 with the score on 35. Jahan Boodha was the third man out for Gros Islet caught at extra cover from a miscued shot by Merve Renee for 6 off the bowling of Sheldon Busby with the score on 67 in 9.3 overs.
Gros Islet’s 50 came in the 7th over, off a ball whipped off the pads by Lee Solomon to the boundary and the 100 in the 16th over with Lee Solomon on 39 and Zidane Arthur 17.
Lee batted patiently and finally reached his 50 with 6 spanking fours and 1 six; the score 127 for 3 in 19.4 overs; the pair had added 60 for the fourth wicket.
Gros Islet’s 150 came in 23.5 overs as Solomon and Arthur continued their onslaught. The 100 partnership was posted for the fourth wicket (167/3), Solomon on 79 and Arthur on 33 not out.
Solomon continued to press on reaching his century which included twelve 4s and two massive 6s; Arthur was not too far behind remembering that the cut off time was 2.30 p.m. the defending champions quickly raced to 200 with the fourth wicket partnership being 150. Arthur in the meantime muscled his way to his half century with two massive sixes to remain on 59 not out with four 4s and two 6s and Solomon 126 not out with fourteen 4s and two 6s. Final score 244 for 3 in 33 overs at a run rate of 7.39 runs per over.
Bowling for Babonneau, Craig Elizee 2 for 25 and Sheldon Busby 1 for 31. Extras the third highest score of the innings, 44.
Needing 245 for victory in 33 overs, Babonneau never looked like they were chasing down the required runs as they were quickly in trouble losing the wicket of Ephron Charles for 0 lbw to Ryan Goodman with the score on 4; Sergio Auguste was next to go beautifully stumped by Garvin Serieux for 9 off the bowling of Simeon Gerson, one of Gerson’s 9 wickets in the match.
Opening batman and vice-captain Caleb Thomas was the only player showing any resistance at the top of the order scoring 35; Zayee Antoine 0; Merve Renee 0; Sheldon Busby 6; Amari Venner 0; Nyheem Rosemond 0; Arnil Jules 0 while Craig Elizee(captain) remained 6 not out. (All out 82 in 23.4 overs)
Bowling for Gros Islet, Simeon Gerson 6.4 overs, 1 maiden, 9 wickets for 9 runs, Ryan Goodman took 1 for 17.
Gros Islet won by 162 runs.
Also on the same day, Choiseul defeated Soufriere by 5 wickets at the Piaye Playing Field.
Batting first, Soufriere scored 198 all out in 31 overs with Nick Jn Baptiste top scoring with 71 and Xytus Emmanuel 38.
Bowling for Choiseul, Sachin Canchan picked up 2 for 9, and Hanif Antoine bagged 2 for 36.
Requiring 199 for victory, Choiseul scored 200 for the loss of 5 wickets in 34 overs with Skye Lafeuille top scoring with 62 and Tristan Nobal supported with 43.
Bowling for Soufriere, Kervel Prospere took 1 for 23 and Nick Jn Baptiste 2 for 50.
On Wednesday 20th another round of matches was concluded. Defending champions Gros Islet made it two wins out of two with an 83 run win over Central Castries at the Gros Islet Playing Field.
Gros Islet 249 all out in 47.3 overs. Kimani Melius 93, Zidane Arthur continued his good run on form scoring 44.
Bowling for Central Castries, Dan-raj Cepal picked up 4 for 33.
Chasing 250 for victory, Central Castries was bowled for 167. Dan-raj Cepal 63 and Rahym Joseph 26.
Bowling for Gros Islet, Udel Preville bagged 6 for 40 and Simeon Gerson 3 for 34
At the La Ressource Playing Field (Dennery) home team Mabouya Valley suffered their second consecutive defeat, losing to South Castries U19s by 46 runs.
Batting first South Castries U19s scored 211 in 33.5 overs with Tarrick Edward top scoring with 77.
Bowling for Mabouya Valley, Martin Stanislaus picked up 5 for 56.
Needing 212 for victory, Mabouya Valley’s U19s were bowled out for 165 all out in 29.5 overs
Bowling for South Castries, Nowelle Leo took 6 for 30.
At the Phillip Marcellin Ground in Vieux Fort, Soufriere defeated Vieux Fort by 6 wickets.
Batting first, Vieux-Fort 78 all out in 19. 3 overs.
Bowling for Soufriere, Trever Edward picked up 2 for 16, Tertius Jones bagged 3 for 18 and Kervel Prospere 4 for 25. Extras 36.
Chasing 79 for victory, Soufriere reached their target for the loss of 4 wickets in 15.2 overs. Xytus Emmanuel 21 not out.
Bowling for Vieux Fort, Sachin Charles 2 for 20 and Tyrone Theodore 1 for 8. Extras 34.
Meanwhile, one game is scheduled for today; (Saturday 20th). Babonneau plays Anse la Raye at the Balata Playing Field.
Tomorrow (Sunday 21st), will see the last match in the preliminary round of the tournament when Gros Islet takes on Anse la Raye at the Gros Islet Playing Field.
Both matches bowl off at 10.00 a.m.
Yesterday, (Friday 19th), Central Castries played Anse la Raye at the Balata Playing Field and Mon Repos took on South Castries at Mon Repos.
The quarterfinal stage bowls off on Monday 22nd at a venue to be decided by the SLNCA.