Barbados win Under-15 championship

Barbados are the 2017 winners of Cricket West Indies Under 15 Tournament. They won the title after defeating defending champions Trinidad and Tobago by 15 runs in the fifth-round of the competition at the North Stars Ground, Crab Hill, St Lucy, Friday afternoon.

The Bajans finished with 26.4 points, Leeward Islands placed second with 19.8 points and the Windward with 13.9 points were third.

Chasing a total of 173, Trinidad and Tobago scored 157 for the loss of 4 wickets. Their innings began a half-hour before lunch after the hosts were bowled out for 172.

They lost the wicket of opener Sachin Emrit for a duck with the score on one. At lunch, the score was 11 for 1. After lunch, captain Tariq Mohammed and opener Aaron Bankay threw a scare into the Barbadian fans at the ground with a second-wicket partnership of 92 which gave the lads from the twin-island republic a chance of winning their first match in the tournament.

Mohammed played several shots while Bankay slowly accumulated his runs.  Mohammed scored 45 from 94 balls, he struck four fours and one six. Bankay who batted throughout the innings was unbeaten on 62 compiled from 150 balls in 186 minutes with four boundaries.

Barbados are the Regional Under-15 champions.

There was the belief that Bankay soaked up too many dot balls that impeded Trinidad and Tobago from reaching the runs required for victory.

Even though fast bowler Che Simmons was the most successful bowler with 2 wickets for 28 runs from 6 overs, it was the spin of Jacob Bethell, Thierry Walcott and Renacko Belgrave that really stalled Trinidad and Tobago’s innings.

Left-arm spinners Bethell and Belgrave bowled 10 overs for 26 and 22 runs respectively without taking a wicket. Walcott picked up one wicket for 27 runs with his off spin.

While Trinidad and Tobago were not losing wickets, the run rate was increasing, and eventually, over 20 runs were required from the last over.

Earlier, Barbados won the toss and elected to bat. They were in early trouble when opening batsman Bethell was run out for 7 with the score on 15.

Fast bowler Justin Manick struck two vital blows before the score was 30. He had Giovante DePeiza caught in the slips by Gerald Chin and Rivaldo Clarke at the wicket by Bankay, to leave Barbados in deep trouble at 28 for three.

Barbados’ batsmen seem uncertain in their running at the crease which led to three run-outs during the innings, even though they were scoring at a rapid rate.  In a flash, Barbados had stumbled to 90 for six in the 26th over with Nimar Bolden who made 16, Jakeem Forde who scored 20 and Tremaine Dowrich back in the pavilion.

Walcott made a valiant attempt to guide the innings and seemed set for a big score when he was unnecessary run out for 23. He batted for 85 minutes, faced 44 balls, and hit two boundaries.

Simmons who batted at number eight, was at the other end when Walcott was dismissed. He was joined by captain Belgrave who struck a quick-fire 19 from 22 balls in 25 minutes with two sixes and one four.

While Belgrave provided the fireworks, Simmons who sometimes bats at number 4 for Combermere in the local Under 15 competition was steadily accumulating his runs.

He and Belgrave shared a partnership of 34 before the captain was dismissed with the total on 136. Two runs later Romario Brathwaite was dismissed and the hosts were in danger of being bowled out for under 150.

Simmons continued to bat sensibly with last man Jordan Knight who made six. They posted a tenth- wicket partnership of 34. He was 47 when King was run out. Simmons batted for 76 minutes, faced 71 balls and struck a single four.

Barbados were dismissed for 172 in 43.3 overs.

Manick took two wickets for 22 runs from six overs and off spinner Darren Samial took 2 for 34 from ten overs.

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