BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Windward Islands produced a measured run chase to beat title-holders Jamaica by five wickets with an over to spare here Friday night, and book a place in Sunday’s Super50 final against Combined Campuses and Colleges.
Chasing 243 for victory in the second day/night semi-final at Kensington Oval, the Windwards were piloted to victory by half-centuries from Andre Fletcher, who stroked 68, Keddy Lesporis who got 61 and their talisman Devon Smith who hammered a cameo 59.
When Lesporis fell in the penultimate over with the Windwards needing seven runs from his deliveries, West Indies Under-19 all-rounder Dalton Polius strode to the crease to slam two boundaries off three balls and ensure there was no last-over drama.
Leg-spinner Odean Brown captured two for 38 but Jamaica’s trump card, left-arm spinner Nikita Miller, had a disappointing game with just one wicket for 48 runs from his ten overs.
Earlier, Brenton Parchment and Nkrumah Bonner both hit half-centuries as Jamaica finished on 242 for eight after winning the toss and batting.
Opener Parchment top scored with 86 and Bonner hit 74, while David Bernard Jr carved out a breezy unbeaten 32 down the order.
Left-arm seamer Kenroy Peters picked up three for 60 while Liam Sebastien (2-43) and left-arm pacer Delorn Johnson (2-48) finished with two wickets apiece.
Jamaica lost Danza Hyatt for two with the score on three, ten balls into the day’s play when he offered no stroke and watched as the ball ricocheted off his arm onto the stumps.
Parchment and Bonner, however, combined to add 166 for the second wicket, to repair the Jamaica innings and put them back on course for a decent total.
While Parchment counted ten fours off 101 balls, Bonner hit eight boundaries in a knock that consumed 110 deliveries.
Johnson removed both in the 37th over, triggering a slide which saw seven wickets tumble for 73 runs. Bernard countered with three fours and a six in a 29-ball knock but found no allies to support his cause as the Windwards deep fielders proved clinical.
There was no magical start for the Windwards either as West Indies one-day opener Johnson Charles perished in the second over of the run chase, bowled for one by a full length delivery from Bernard with a mere two runs on the board.
The Windwards batsmen then mounted an admirable effort to easily overcome the Jamaicans and erase any lingering fears of a slide.
Smith, the season’s best batsman, combined with Tyrone Theophile (29), to post 78 off 68 balls for the second wicket, the first of a couple of fine partnerships.
The left-handed Smith faced just 44 balls and reeled off ten boundaries including three glorious off-side shots in the fourth over of the innings from Bernard.
Theophile, meanwhile, struck two fours in a patient 54-ball innings.
Brown claimed Smith to a catch at the wicket in the 13th over and sent back Theophile 20 runs later, to give Jamaica a look-in but it was short-lived.
Man-of-the-Match Fletcher and Lesporis nullified Jamaica’s attack in an excellent 91-run, fourth wicket stand which all but sealed the result for the Windwards.
Fletcher, without a decent knock in his last several outings, chose the perfect time to come good with five fours off 81 balls. Lesporis, meanwhile, faced 91 balls and struck four fours and a six – a pull over mid-wicket off leg-spinner Bonner as victory beckoned.
Neither would stay around for the final rites but the Windwards held their nerve to book their spot in the championship game. (windiescricket.com)
JAMAICA 242 for eight off 50 overs (Brenton Parchment 86, Nkrumah Bonner 74, David Bernard Jr 32 not out; Kenroy Peters 3-60, Liam Sebastien 2-43, Delorn Johnson 2-48)
WINDWARDS 244 for five off 49 overs (Andre Fletcher 68, Keddy Lesporis 61, Devon Smith 59, Tyrone Theophile 29; Odean Brown 2-38)
D Hyatt b Peters 2
B Parchment c Smith b Johnson 86
N Bonner c Bobb b Johnson 74
A McCarthy c Lesporis b Sebastien 4
J Blackwood c Peters b Shillingford 15
*T Lambert c Lesporis b Sebastien 1
+C Baugh c Fletcher b Peters 5
D Bernard not out 32
N Miller c Smith b Peters 1
A Richardson not out 1
Extras (b1, lb8, w12) 21
TOTAL (8 wkts, 50 overs) 242
Did not bat: O Brown
Fall of wickets: 1-3 (Hyatt, 1.4 overs), 2-169 (Bonner, 36.2), 3-173 (Parchment, 36.4), 4-193 (McCarthy, 40.5), 5-196 (Lambert, 42.2), 6-197 (Blackwood, 43.1), 7-217 (Baugh, 47.1), 8-221 (Miller, 47.4)
Bowling: Johnson 10-2-48-2 (w1), Peters 9-0-60-3 (w3), Bobb 10-0-44-0, Sebastien 10-0-43-2 (w2), Shillingford 10-2-30-1, Polius 1-0-8-0 (w2).
+J Charles b Bernard 1
D Smith c wkp Baugh b Brown 59
T Theophile lbw b Brown 29
A Fletcher c Bonner b Miller 68
K Lesporis c wkp Baugh b Richardson 61
*L Sebastien not out 12
D Polius not out 8
Extras (w6) 6
TOTAL (5 wkts, 49 overs) 244
Did not bat: S Shillingford, A Bobb, K Peters, D Johnson.
Fall of wickets: 1-2 (Charles, 1.2 overs), 2-80 (Smith, 12.4), 3-104 (Theophile, 21), 4-195 (Fletcher, 41.5), 5-236 (Lesporis, 48.3)
Bowling: Richardson 7-0-47-1 (w2), Bernard 8-0-46-1, Lambert 10-0-36-0, Miller 10-0-48-1 (w1), Brown 10-0-38-2 (w1), Bonner 4-0-29-0 (w2).
Result: Windwards won by five wickets.
Position: Windwards qualify for Super50 final.
Man-of-the-Match: Andre Fletcher.
Umpires: G Brathwaite, J Wilson; TV – N Duguid.