After three consecutive postponements, the second semifinal of the Sandals Under-19 Cricket Tournament finally took place last Sunday at the Mindoo Phillip Park, with a win for Central Castries.
Bowlers Thai Harris, 5 for 28 in 10 overs to claim Man of the Match and Mc Kenny Clarke, West Indies hopeful for the ICC Under 19 World Cup in the Caribbean next year, 1 for 17 from 7 overs, could lay claim to the victory, as they restricted Babonneau to 112.
Central Castries will go into the final for the first time against newcomers, the Saint Lucia Sports Academy, in great confidence.
For Babonneau, a valiant effort from their opening batsman Joshua Cepal, 54 was not enough.
Sent into bat after losing the toss, Babonneau was bowled out in 40 overs. Cepal’s well-played 54 were off 128 deliveries with 2 fours. He added 32 for the first wicket with captain Caleb Thomas 14 and a further 29 for the sixth wicket with Vishal Singh (4). Extras were the second highest score (25).
Fall of wickets: 1 for 32 (Caleb Thomas 14), 2 for 39 (Steven Abraham 1), 3 for 45 (Seigo Auguste 1), 4 for 54 (Amari Venner 1), 5 for 64 (McKale Nelson 3), 6 for 93 (Vishal Singh 4), 7 for 97 (Anslem Gittens 2), 8 for 108 (Joshua Cepal 54), 9 for 111 (Tyler Venner 4), 10 for 112 (Brian Fulgence 1), McKay Bridgette not out 2.
Bowling for Central Castries, Thai Harris took a career best 5 for 28, Mc Kenny Clarke 1 for 17, Keegan Arnold 1 for 17, Jaayxan Justin 1 for 18 and Jayden Elibox who bowled magnificently from the river end was unfortunate not to pick up a wicket, he bowled 10 overs for 25 runs.
Chasing 113 for victory and a place into the final, Central Castries reached their target for the lost of three wickets with opening batsman Desney Gidharry top scoring with 43, Ephron Charles 17 and Ackeem Auguste not out 18.
Opening batsman, Keril Victor was the first to go out, caught at short extra cover for 2 by Anslem Gittens who dive forward to take the catch off the bowling of McKale Nelson with the score on 14.
Ephron Charles who came in at No.3 added 50 with Gidharry for the third wicket; Charles was the next batsman out, caught by Seigo Auguste for 17 off the bowling of Vishal Singh with the score on 64 after 14.5 overs.
Forty-nine needed for victory, batting at No. 4, West Indies hopeful for the ICC Under 19 World in the Caribbean in 2022 Ackeem Auguste (20) and Gidharry (15) put on exactly 40 in 9.4 overs before Gidharry was out, caught by McKale Nelson off the bowling of Anslem Gittens for 43 from 83 deliveries which included 2 fours. Auguste remained not out 18 and Keegan Arnold not out 0. Extras the second highest score (33).
Bowling for Babonneau, McKale Nelson 1 for 15, Vishal Singh 1 for 24 and Anslem Gittens 1 for 26.
Central Castries Team Manager, Tyrone Harris spoke to this reporter following the encounter:
“We thought the boys gave a very good account of themselves with this emphatic semifinal win over Babonneau. It’s been very challenging considering all the postponements due to persistent weather conditions which also affected our preparations going into the semifinals.’
He continued, “Having won the toss and deciding to insert the opposition, the team stuck to its task and continuously applied pressure which brought about the successes in the field.”
Harris said, “Although chasing a relatively modest total we saw good application from our batters who showed a high measure of responsibility in their approach.”
Going into this weekend final against the Saint Lucia Sports Academy, Harris said, “The team is in good spirits and looks forward to the challenge of winning the finals all while striving to keep improving in all departments of the game.”