GROS ISLET, St Lucia, CMC – A fiery 79-run, ninth wicket stand helped Leeward Islands defy Trinidad and Tobago on the opening day of their fourth round TCL Group West Indies Under-19 Challenge match yesterday.
Tottering at 143 for eight after lunch, Leewards were propped up by an attacking unbeaten 64 from Wasim Mintus while Nino Henry chipped in with a valuable 38 before the side was bowled out for 245.
T&T closed strongly, however, finishing the day on 93 for one with Keiron Joseph stroking 43 not out and Nicholas Alexis getting 42.
Fast bowler Teshawn Castro led the T&T attack with four for 51 while leg-spinners Yannick Cariah (2-39) and Kissoondath Magram (2-47) claimed two wickets apiece.
The Leewards’ decision to bat first after winning the toss at the Gros Islet Playing Field backfired as they were quickly reduced to 14 for three.
In fact, they were set back off the very first ball of the day when Jamal Fernandez was caught by Alexis at gully off pacer Teshawn Castro without scoring.
Medium pacer Evin Lewis struck in the next over, removing Duane Webb also without scoring to a catch by Yannic Cariah at first slip, with the score on 13.
With just one run added, Haydn Walsh was caught behind off Castro while Rakeem Cornwall fell in similar fashion to the same bowler for 17 to leave the Leewards 37 for four.
Akeem Saunders and Shane Burton then revived the innings with a 50-run partnership with Saunders stroking an attacking 45 from 46 balls with six fours while Burton hit 21.
Saunders perished just before lunch, caught by Alexis at backward point driving at Magram, to give T&T a precious breakthrough.
Burton followed quickly and by lunch Leewards were struggling at 106 for six. On resumption, they found themselves at 143 for eight despite captain Adelvin Phillip’s 43 from 81 balls but Mintus and Henry staged their heroics to lead the Leewards fightback.
Mintus smashed four fours and four sixes off just 57 balls while Henry stroked eight fours off 38 balls, as they frustrated T&T’s bowlers.