Limited overs cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties. This much was revealed when on Sunday 14th June 2021 newcomers, the Saint Lucia Sports Academy (SLSA), created history by defeating defending champion Gros Islet (1) by 8 wickets in semifinal No.1 of the Under-19 Sandals Cup.
No one would have given the minnows any chance against the twice Sandals champions, more so after Central Castries dismissed them for 77 in the preliminaries.
Gros Islet (1) with a batting line-up featuring; Jehan Boodha, Khan Elcock, Zidane Arthur, Bolton Sayers, Udel Preville and Ryan Goodman, were all out for 111 in 36.1 overs, their lowest score in this year’s tournament handing SLSA a massive victory by 8 wickets.
It must be noted that it’s the first time Gros Islet (1) has been beaten since the inception of the tournament in 2018. The tournament was not played in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.
Gros Islet (1) was sent in to bat by SLSA captain Tarrique Edward. Ryan Goodman top scored with 40, captain Zidane Arthur 14 and Jehan Boodha 11.
Bowling for SLSA, Keon Gaston made good use of the conditions picking up 4 for 33 in 10 overs, Kevin Gassie 3 for 19 in 8 overs, Royce Paul 2 for 19 in 6.1 overs with 1 wicket going to Jaquan Deshong.
Chasing 112 for victory, SLSA finished on 113 for 2 in 19.2 overs with Jahlil Evans scoring a fiery 38 not out which included 5 massive sixes. He scored 18 (6,2,4,6 ) off Lee John in the third over to set up the victory. Opening batsman Kevin Gassie scored a responsible 30 not out with six exquisite boundaries and Royce Paul 13.
Bowling for Gros Islet (1) Lee John, and Bolton Sayers picked up 1 wicket each.
“The hard work being put in by the coaching staff is slowly beginning to bear fruit. Players are recognizing their roles and responsibilities and executing accordingly,” said Assistant Coach for the SLSA, Brian Calixte.
“Our bowlers put us in the driver’s seat from early as they bowled a very good line and length. Our batsmen then completed the job. However, there is still room for improvement in all areas,” he added.
Calixte said, “The support of the parents, principal and teaching staff has all been very encouraging. As we look forward to the final this weekend, we will continue to work on all facets of the game.”
The second semifinal which was scheduled for the Mindoo Phillip Park between Central Castries and Babonneau was not played due to a dump wicket caused by overnight rain.
Still in the Cup Division, SLSA defeated Choiseul by 107 in quarterfinal action played on Saturday 13th at Piaye. Batting first, SLSA scored 236 for 9 in their allotted 50 overs with Noel Leo top scoring with 48. Other contributors with the bat were, Tarrique Edward 38, Jahil Evans 28, Kensly Paul 26 and Kevin Gassie 16.
Bowling for Choiseul, Garvel Edward picked up 2 wickets. Stephan Theophane, Jude Joseph, D’ Andre Nestor, Sky La Feuille and Shervon Brown each took one wicket.
Chasing a revised target of 160 for victory from 27 overs at a rate of 5.92, Choiseul loss their opening batsman Joheim St. Aimee via the run-out route for 1 with the score on 1. Despite a 36 runs partnership for the second wicket between No.2 Jamal Lawrence and No.3 Skye La Feuille, wickets fell steadily at crucial intervals, 76 for 3, 78 for 4, 95 for 5, 95 for 6, 98 for 7, 112 for 8, 129 for 9 and all out 129 in 25 overs.
Choiseul main contributors with the bat were, Skye La Feuille 37, Shervon Brown 34, Davel Brown 17 and Jamal Lawrence 11.
Bowling for SLSA, Royce Paul took 4 for 23 and with a wicket each to Kevin Gassie (1-40), Keon Gaston (1-18), Tarrique Edward (1-16) and Kensly Paul (1-27).
Still on Saturday but in a Plate Division semifinal, at the Gros Islet playing field, the Gros Islet Under-19 team 2 totally out played Laborie Under-19, winning the encounter convincingly by 10 wickets.
Laborie batting first after winning the toss, was bowled out for 58 in 16.4 overs with Jordan Emmanuel making 18, the only batsman to reach double figures.
Bowling for Gros Islet were, right arm leg spinner captain Isaiah Jones with 4 for 13 in 4.4 overs, right arm off spinner Tori Hippolyte with 2 for 6 in 4 overs and right arm seamers Bjorn Fanis and Rene Jones with 1 wicket each.
Requiring 59 for victory the Gros Islet Under 19 team 2 finished on 64 without loss in 8 overs, with opening batsman Johnathan Daniel making 19 not out and Taric Coureur 17 not out.
But the northern team could not defeat Micoud in the final of the Plate Division. Gros Islet ll was defeated by 4 wickets at the Wenn playing field on Sunday.
Batting first after winning the toss Gros Islet ll was dismissed for 82 in 29 overs with the opening batsmen Taric Coureur making 22 and Johnathan Daniel 20 respectively.
Bernard Calixte was the most successful bowler for Micoud taking a career best of 6 for 16 in 9 overs.
Good support came from captain Daren Sammy Jr with 3 for 12 in 9 overs with 1 wicket going to Kaylum Neptune.
In reply Micoud finished on 86 for 6 in 12 overs with Daren Sammy Jr remaining on 34 not out and Garett Alphonse 19.
Bowling for Gros Islet ll, Rene Jones with 2 for 5 in 4 overs, Tori Hippolyte picked up 2 for 31 in 5 overs and Isaiah Jones 2 for 38 in 3 overs.