GROS ISLET, St Lucia, CMC – Left-arm orthodox spinner Kavem Hodge bagged five wickets as leaders Windward Islands restricted lowly Leeward Islands on the opening day of their final round, TCL Group West Indies Under-19 Challenge encounter yesterday.
The Leewards were dismissed for 226 after a promising start but the match remained evenly poised, however, as the Windwards closed at 70 for two at the Beausejour Cricket Ground after both their openers were sent back.
Going to lunch at a promising 101 for two after winning the toss and batting, the Leewards had folded by the tea interval, with Dominican left-arm spinner Kavem Hodge snatching five for 60 and Levaughn Lewis taking two for 59
Opener Jamal Fernandez top-scored with 55 with five fours and one six off 110 balls in an innings that lasted 130 minutes, while Hayden Walsh Jr contributed a vital 36 and number 10 batsman Damian Williams struck some lusty blows in 32 not out.
Darren Benta hit 27 at the top of the order as he added 67 for the first wicket with Fernandez, and the burly Rakeem Cornwall, captaining the side in this match, hit a valuable 20 in the middle of the innings.
When the Windwards replied with a minimum of 16 overs left in the day, their openers put on 60 for the first wicket before Denis Smith was caught for 22 off Lechim Phipps.
His partner Atticus Browne, who stroked a magnificent 106 against Jamaica in the last round, was soon bowled attempting to sweep Walsh after he had scored 33, with just four runs added to the total.
Leewards are the only side in the competition with no chance of winning the title.