TRINIDAD Under-17 cricketers got their campaign to retain the regional title in fine style on Tuesday with a comprehensive five-wicket win over Barbados at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba.
The visitors won the toss and elected to bat first and were restricted to 169 runs in 46.3 of their allotted 50 overs with Johnli Jordan top-scoring with 33, and Nico Reifer contributing 30 to the total.
For the home team Leonardo Di Caprio Francis picked up two wickets for 15 runs and was ably supported by Nicholas Ali who snatched two for 22.
In response, the defending champions were able to achieve the winning target in 43.3 overs, finishing 170 for five with major contributions from Leonardo Julien and Avinash Mahabirsingh, who both scored 41, the latter unbeaten at the crease.
The Bajan bowling effort was led by Ramon Simmonds, who picked up two wickets for 26 runs, but the total was not enough to successfully defend.
In the other two matches on the opening day, Jamaica were upset by the Leewards Islands, going down by five wickets at the National Cricket Centre in Balmain, Couva, while the Windward islands shocked Guyana, winning by 19 runs at Gilbert Park in California.
At the National Cricket Centre (NCC), Jamaica won the toss and chose to bat first but were immediately put on the backfoot and crashed to 96 all out after just 31.4 overs, despite a fighting batting display by Ricardo McIntosh, who scored 24.
Zawandi White (three for 18) and Elroy Francis Jr. (two for 18) were the pick of the Leeward Islands bowlers.
The Leewards set about going after their small target, but suffered a few anxious moments as the Jamaicans pegged backed their opponents who lost wickets at regular intervals but were eventually steered home by Uri Smith who top-scored with 36 runs, while Francis Jr., accumulated 17 not out to eke out the well-deserved win.
The outstanding Jamaican bowler who gave his team a sniff of an unlikely victory was Romaine Jacobs who snared three wickets for 31 runs.
At Gilbert Park, Guyana and the Windward Islands clashed in a low-scoring encounter, with the high quality of bowling on both teams on show. The Guyanese won the toss and elected to send in their opponents and Kimani Melius relished the opportunity to notch the first half century of this years’ competition, scoring 53.
Despite his effort the Windward Islands could only muster124 runs, and were all out in 45.2 overs with Lee Solomon contributing 22 runs
“Man-of-the-Match” Kevlon Anderson, with four wickets, and Junior Sinclair, with three, were exceptional with the ball for Guyana.
In reply, the Guyana batsmen disappointed and could only get to 105 all out with Anderson top-scoring with 27 runs, and Ashmead Nedd contributing 17. Leading the bowling attack for the Windwards, Simeon Gerson (three for ten) and Jahseon Alexander (three for 25 runs) did the damage.
The regional Under-17 competition continues on Thursday (July 13), with all six teams in action.
Windward Islands vs Barbados, National Cricket Centre, 9.30 am
Trinidad and Tobago vs Jamaica at Gilbert Park, 9.30 am
Leeward Islands vs Guyana, Brian Lara Stadium, 9.30 am
Jamaica vs Leeward Islands
Jamaica Innings 96 (31.4 overs) Ricardo McIntosh 24, Michael Thompson 17, Zawandi White 3/18 (10), Elroy Francis 2/18 (10) vs Leeward Islands 97 for 5 (27.5 overs) Uri Smith 36, Elroy Francis 17 n.o., Romaine Jacobs 3/31.
Leeward Islands won by 5 wickets.
Barbados vs Trinidad & Tobago
Barbados 169 (46.3 Overs) Jonlhi Jordan 33, Nico Reifer 30, Leonardo Francis 2/15, Nicholas Ali 2/22 vs T&T 170/5 (43.3 Overs) Leonardo Julien 41, Avinash Mahabirsingh 41 n.o., Ramon Simmonds 2/26.
TT won by 5 wickets
Guyana vs Windward Islands
Windward Islands 124 (33.4 Overs) Kimani Melius 53, Lee Solomon 22, Kevlon Anderson 5/35, Jnior Sinclair 3/6 vs Guyana 105 (45.2 overs) Kevlon Anderson 27, Ashmead Nedd 17, Simeon Gerson 3/10, Jahseon Alexander 3/25
Windward Islands won by 19 runs.