Gros Islet and South Castries women’s cricket teams registered massive victories at the eighth edition of the Acynta Auguste 50 Overs Cricket Tournament last Saturday.
The highlight of the weekend showpiece saw teenager Zaida James (South Castries) scoring her maiden national hundred, 125 not out, and right arm seamer Makada Dubois (Gros Islet) picking up a career best of 5 for 16.
The following day (Sunday April 18), at the Piaye Playing Field, Gros Islet had a 116 run victory over Choiseul; the northern ladies led by a fine all-round performance from West Indies player and Gros Islet captain Qiana Joseph who top scored with 40 runs. She also picked up two wickets for five runs to claim the player of the match title, while national player Makada Dubois picked up a career best as they made light work of Choiseul.
Joseph made the right call and won the toss. Batting first, Gros Islet made 181 for 7 in 35 overs. Other contributions with the bat came from teenager, Niesha Cherry, 25 and national players Heidi Sandiford, 19, Skyy Smith,18 and Malika Edward 17.
Choiseul’s wicket takers were Shernica Cooper with 2 for 16, Naralie Cooper; 2 for 33 and 1 wicket each to Julia Simon and Roylin Cooper.
Choiseul, in reply, was dismissed for 65 in 9.5 overs. Nicole Charles top scored with 19 not out; Charles was the only batter to reach double figures.
Bowling for Gros Islet, Makada Dubois picked up 5 for 16 in 3 overs. The other wicket takers were Qiana Joseph with 2 for 5 and Selena Ross, 2 for 22.
On the opening day (Saturday April 17th) at the Mindoo Phillip Park, led by an unbeaten 125 from national player and Windward Islands Under-19 Vice-Captain, Zaida James, defending champions South Castries Lionesses (SCL) defeated the Saint Lucia National Cricket Association (SLNCA) Development Team by a whopping 211 runs after winning the toss.
Batting first, SCL amassed 258 for 3 in 34 overs, with top order batter, Zaida James, scoring her maiden national century, 125 not out, which included 18 fours and two sixes. Former national player Philippa Thomas-Eudovic, 45, and captain Ashlene Edward, 21, were the other contributors with the bat.
Bowling for the SLNCA Development Team, Nesha Alexander took 2 for 31 in 6 overs while captain Yasmine St. Ange took 1.
Needing 259 for victory, the SLNCA Development Team never got going as they were bowled out for 47 in 14 overs with no batter reaching double figures.
Bowling for South Castries, Zaida James continued her good run on form in the encounter picking up 3 for 6 in 3 overs. Leona Vitalis – Baker took 2 wickets as well as Princess Olliviere with 1 wicket going to Chloe Elibox.
The VOICE spoke to Zaida James about her maiden century:
“I was nervous about scoring my fifty; actually, I just wanted to score runs. I was not looking to score a century, my focus was to put runs on the board. My teammates only told me I was on 89 and the following over I hit a 6 and a 4 and got to my century.”
James scored her maiden half century, 53 runs at the last edition of the Windward Islands Women’s 50 Overs Tournament played at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground. Following the tournament and based on her performance throughout, she was selected to represent the Windward Islands in the Cricket West Indies Under 19 tournament. She was named Vice Captain for the Under -19 team, but unfortunately COVID-19 caused the postponement of that tournament.
James intends to take one match at a time. She will be in action this weekend against Gros Islet at the Gros Islet Playing Field with the likes of Qiana Joseph, Malika Edward and Heidi Sandiford.
The VOICE also spoke to South Castries Cricket Association (SCCA) President, Bryan Calixte, about the South Castries women’s team’s outstanding performance against the SLNCA Development Team.
“I am quite pleased with South Castries Lionesses winning their first match, with Zaida James one of the emerging players, leading the charge, taking into consideration some of the senior players were unavailable for the opening encounter,” he said.
On what he expects in the upcoming encounter against Gros Islet, Calixte said, “Any match between South Castries and Gros Islet is always an interesting encounter and having gotten off the mark with a win, I am sure the young ladies will be looking forward to this game, knowing that some of the senior players will be coming in to strengthen the team that played against the SLNCA Development Team.”
Also weighing in on James’s outstanding performance was SLNCA 1st Vice President, Shaun Alcindor.
According to Alcindor, “Zaida James has shown that she deserves to be a West Indies Under -19 hopeful; she is really knocking on that West Indies door. We are hoping for great things from her.”
The tournament resumes on Saturday April 24th. Gros Islet will take on the South Castries Lionesses at the Gros Islet Playing Field in what is expected to be a keenly contested matchup.
In the second encounter on that day, the SLNCA Development Team will take on Choiseul at the Mindoo Phillip Park. Both teams will be looking to make amends following heavy defeats in their opening encounter. Both matches will commence at 10.00 a.m.
Meanwhile, Gros Islet and South Castries will be looking to make full use of Qiana Joseph and Zaida James this weekend when the two teams play each other. The young lasses are expected to leave Saint Lucia on Sunday April 25th, 2021, for a six week training camp in Antigua and Barbuda with the CWI ladies team under the watchful eyes of head coach Courtney Walsh.