GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – Leeward Islands coach Winston Benjamin has lamented his side’s poor showing in the opening round of the WICB Regional Under-19 Championship here. His side batted poorly in both innings, failing to reach 200, and crashing to an innings and 25-run defeat to hosts Guyana on the third and final day of the encounter at the National Stadium at Providence here Wednesday.
“Most of the guys are accustomed to playing on much hard pitches than the ones in Guyana and I don’t think they adjusted well, especially the senior players,” said the former West Indies fast bowler. “The shots from (Akeem) Saunders and the skipper (Rahkeem Cornwall) in the first innings were disappointing but I know the guys are hurting from this result and we hope to improve and adjust to the conditions as the tournament goes on.”
The Leewards were dismissed for 109 in their first innings and then watched as Guyana piled up 317 for nine declared, to take a lead of 208. Cornwall then stroked 49 and Saunders, 44, both attacking innings, but the Leewards folded for 183 all out. Benjamin put the performance down to inadequate preparation. “We only had four days together in Antigua before coming here and I don’t think that is enough time to prepare for a regional competition,” he contended. Guyana’s coach Huburn Evans had no such concerns as he praised his side’s clinical performance, which saw them wrap up victory 40 minutes before lunch.
“Its always good to start on a high but more importantly we now need to maintain that high in our next four games,” Evans said.
“We did not make a 250 total in the last two tournaments and it was pleasing to see the batsmen get us past 300 here.
“I always expected the bowlers to do well but I am delighted that the batting has clicked early and I hope we can maintain this type of performance since if we can make big total the job of our bowlers will be easier.”
In the second round of matches starting today, the Leewards will face Barbados while Guyana take on Jamaica.